On November 7, 2023, the Housestaff Council for Diversity and Inclusion (HCDI) hosted its second annual Surgery & Anesthesia Day Camp at UVA’s Education Resource Center. Middle school students from 3 local Boys & Girls Club chapters attended. The day started with ice breakers, a resident panel, and a lecture about the path to residency and different physician careers. In the afternoon, residents and attendings from the Departments of Anesthesiology, General Surgery, and Plastic Surgery led students through hands-on simulation activities including suturing, laparoscopy practice, intubations, and critical patient scenarios.
The event was started by Perry Bradford, MD, a 2023 graduate of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency and former vice-president of HCDI, with the goal of exposing students in the community to health careers and ultimately sparking their interest. Given the success last year, Gabrielle Steinl, MD, HCDI’s community outreach co-chair and General Surgery resident, was excited to organize another event.
“I was particularly struck by the depth of the questions the students asked, particularly during our resident panel. They’re only in middle school but asked some really thought-provoking questions about our work in the hospital.” said Dr. Steinl.
“It is tremendous fun to be able to teach these students. I loved sharing something I am passionate about with them and seeing the excitement on their faces as they excelled at the skills we taught,” said Assistant Professor Kamilla Esfahani, MD, and DEI leader in the Department of Anesthesiology.
The simulation activities were unsurprisingly the students’ favorite part of the day, and it quickly became apparent that there could be some future surgeons and anesthesiologists in the group. Using pig feet for practice, the students quickly got the hang of suturing lacerations. At the laparoscopy simulators, they competed to see who could complete the peg transfer activity in the least amount of time. With the anesthesia faculty and residents, they learned about airway anatomy and intubated mannikins themselves. They also worked through critically ill patient cases, simulating real life scenarios that happen in the community, and practiced high-quality CPR.
At the end of the day, residents shared resources for future volunteer opportunities for interested students and handed out gift bags which included HCDI t-shirts and portable CPR kits with valve masks. HCDI would like to thank the Graduate Medical Education Office for its support and funding, the Boys & Girls club volunteers who drove and chaperoned the students, the Departments of Surgery, Anesthesiology, and Plastic Surgery, and Reid Super-Save Market for donating pig feet.