Brigham and Women’s Hospital instructs local campers on medical skills of the future

BOSTON (WHDH) - Local girls taking part in a unique summer camp spent a day at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where they had a chance to try a surgery simulator by conducting virtual operations alongside real doctors.

Aiko White says getting hands-on training in the high-tech surgeries was stressful but rewarding.

“I got kind of stressed when I was doing it because it kept bleeding and I didn’t want it to,” she said. “But it was pretty cool to figure out how to work it.”

Instead of canoeing or diving into a lake, the girls are diving into the Stratus Center, which is a state-of-the-art medical simulation training lab at the hospital.

“It provides them with an opportunity to see what doctors and nurses do and to get a feel for what the professions are like,” said Stratus Center Medical Director Dr. Charles Pozner said.

The students are on a two-week “Bioengineering for Girls” summer program by “Explo” at Wheaton College.

“This program is pretty awesome,” Ruth Torrence said. “I’ve done some things I’ve never done before.”

Recent demonstrations gave them a chance to try their hands at robotic and virtual reality surgery.

“You can actually be a doctor in America and work on a surgery in Europe, wirelessly,” Jackie Patterson said. “So you direct the entire surgery with just two fingers.”

The equipment the girls are experimenting with is identical to what professional doctors train on, giving them a taste of a possible future career.

“At Explo, we look at education differently. We want it to be experiential. We want students thinking about how to think,” said Barbara Trainor, of Bioengineering for Girls.

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