Lauren Schaller, Director of Education1, Ann M Rogers, MD2. 1Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, 2Penn State Hershey Medical Center
Background: A national shortage of nearly 400,000 MDs and RNs is projected by 2025. To help meet this need, in 2010 the American Hospital Association recommended not only improving workflow and staff retention, but attracting a new generation of healthcare workers. With this impetus, our group developed a multidisciplinary program to broadcast live operations to high school students starting in 2008. We are currently in our 10th year of the curriculum.
Methods: An educational grant from Highmark BlueShield supported technical upgrades to allow streaming of live procedures to a remote studio audience at a prominent center for science and the arts, as well as for independent research evaluation through follow-up questionnaires. We selected commonly-performed and generally uncomplicated elective procedures, starting with laparoscopic gastric bypass in Year 1; expanding to include robotic and laparoscopic hysterectomy in Year 2; sleeve gastrectomy in Year 3; robotic nephrectomy in Year 4; cholecystectomy in Year 5; and then adding endoscopic therapeutic interventions. Students received pre-visit teaching modules including images showing key steps of the procedure to be viewed. The in-studio program was hosted by an education specialist from the science center and a surgical resident from our institution, with laparoscopic instruments available for manipulation by participants. Participants then viewed a video highlighting the roles of all healthcare providers involved in the specialty to be featured, including nurses, physicians, dietitians, psychologists, technologists, etc. Live questions and answers were then encouraged between students and surgeons during the surgery broadcast. The program also expanded from high schools to vocational-technical colleges and nursing schools.
Results: During the 2008-2009 academic year there were 6 sessions presented to 11 schools, with 421 student participants. By the 2016-2017 year this increased to 19 sessions presented to 55 schools, with 1721 participants. In sum, throughout the first 9 years of the program, there were 395 schools attending, with a total of 11,351 participants. Of polled high school participants, 63% of responders acknowledged considering a career in healthcare after this experience.
Conclusion: Over 10 years, our program has grown steadily in popularity such that schools from several counties attend and regularly return, and we have been asked to expand the program to create a surgical summer camp for students interested in science and technology. Live broadcast surgery in an elective, minimally invasive format provides unique visibility and access to surgical procedures for student audiences and promotes future interest in healthcare careers.
Presented at the SAGES 2017 Annual Meeting in Houston, TX.
Abstract ID: 87439
Program Number: P295
Presentation Session: iPoster Session (Non CME)
Presentation Type: Poster