Monday and Tuesday this week I spent in San Diego at the American College of Surgeons Annual Conference.

On Monday I attended several pediatric lectures, one that I found the most fascinating was about using an Artificial Placenta in order to keep premature lambs alive. Monday evening I got to participate in the Society of Thoracic Surgeon’s annual resident and medical student wet lab. Over the course of 3 hours I got hands on experience learning how to suture the chest wall and repair a defect, how to suture a vein onto an artery (do a vein graft), how mitral and aortic valves are replaced (the photos show me working on placing the initial sutures into the aortic valve of a pig to prepare to place a prosthetic valve), and how minimally invasive thoracic surgery is done. This course was such a priceless experience and gave me great exposure to cardiothoracic surgery.

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to present a video presentation entitled “Two Port Laparoscopic Salpingectomy- A Five Minute Procedure That Decreases the Risk of Ovarian Cancer”. This is a surgical technique I have been developing with Dr. Greg Marchand as a part of my Minimally Invasive Surgery rotation. We put together a 5 minute video session followed by a Q & A session regarding the technique. I was very humbled to have the experience of presenting in a room full of experts and hearing their feedback and questions.

Attending ACS this year has been such a great learning experience. I feel since it is still early in my career in medicine it is so important to get exposure to all the different specialities so that when it comes down to applying for residency you can make the best choice.

-Katelyn Sainz
WUHS MD9