On October 27, 2022, members of the resident-run Housestaff Council for Diversity and Inclusion (HCDI) in the Departments of Plastic Surgery, General Surgery, Anesthesiology, and Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, along with faculty from Plastic Surgery and Anesthesiology hosted the inaugural Surgery and Anesthesia Day Camp at UVA’s Education Resource Center and Medical School Simulation Lab. Activities included ice breakers, lectures, resident panels, and hands-on simulations-including airway management, suturing and patient encounters in hopes to enhance the students’ interest in the sciences and ultimately healthcare.
The camp was the idea of Perry Bradford, MD, a current PGY6 Chief Resident in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. In an effort to replicate her successful community outreach program from medical school, mentoring and teaching students at the Young Doctors Club in Chicago, Dr. Bradford had the idea to connect with students in the greater Charlottesville area interested in STEM. She contacted Chase Rohan, the STEM specialist at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia, in 2019 to host the students for a day at UVA, but due to the pandemic her idea was put on hold. Now two years later, Dr. Bradford, the vice president of HCDI, Alexandra Deal, MD, the community outreach chair, and the Boys and Girls Club were able see their idea come to fruition.
“This is a longitudinal relationship that we hope to foster for years to come. The day was filled with insightful and engaging discussions with the students,” said Dr. Bradford.
“It was great seeing how excited and engaged the students were. They were asking questions I would not have thought of at their age,” remarked Dr. Deal.
Several anesthesiology faculty and residents had a blast showing students the intricacies of airway management. Thanks to the medical school simulation lab, Boys and Girls Club students got to see Thomas and Carlos, the realistic simulation mannequins, in action- seeing how anesthesia is performed, getting hands on practice with intubation and treating a patient with an asthma attack.
“The students loved interacting with the ‘patients’ and asked fantastic questions,” said Kamilla Esfahani, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology.
“It was a real pleasure meeting and working with the students from the Boys and Girls Club. I was blown away by their thoughtful questions and their amazing suturing and patient interview skills. I think there may be some future surgeons and anesthesiologists in the group!” stated Brittany Behar, MD, Assistant Professor Department of Plastic Surgery, Division of Hand Surgery and HCDI Faculty Advisor.
At the conclusion of the day camp, participants received HCDI T-shirts to mark the momentous occasion and encourage them to dream big. Overall, it was a fun day! HCDI would like to thank the Graduate Medical Education Office for support and funding, the drivers for bringing the students to the camp, the Simulation Center, and Reid Super-Save Market for suture lab supplies.