Skip to main content

SURY 428 – AI in Gastrointestinal Surgery

Samia Ellias, Topiwala National Medical College (India)

Tell me about your experience.

I’m in the upper GI surgery rotation and I’ve always wanted to do GI surgery so I’m really happy I got this one. When it comes to surgery, there are many important things to consider. It involves more practical things like suturing inserting the Foley catheter in the operating room. Those things I’ve learned here and practiced here. I would advise other medical students to learn them before coming, it gives you an advantage. And what’s really nice is that every morning during rounds you get to present your patients to your team and it really helps you familiarize yourself with the American system. Also, clinic days are amazing because you get a lot of interaction with the attending and that’s important because you want to build a good rapport. Dr. Farrell who I work under, basically rocks, he’s amazing and he is so patient with medical students. Even when you make mistakes he corrects you but keeps pushing you. And you get to write the patient note on Epic, which is great.

Any challenges?

Even today I made a mistake when I was suturing, which is called a button hole. So now I know, when I go home and keep practicing so I won’t make that mistake again. I think it’s important for medical students doing surgery to know that it’s not just the residents you learn from. It’s also the nurses and everyone else. You must introduce yourself and write your name on the board so people can help you. They are going to teach you a lot beyond what is happening in the surgery. Because sometimes you are just observing, so you need to know what is happening around and how to help them. The thing is everything needs to go fast, you don’t want to be in people’s way, but you want to be there to help out. So it’s important to help around and it does get noticed.

Were you surprised by anything during your rotation?

So, this is my third rotation in the United States and I felt prepared. The whole nervous feeling, I had that back in New York, here I was more in my comfort zone. And here people are really nice. Compared to my other rotations, I enjoy the niceness of North Carolina. Now I definitely understand what people mean about North Carolina being so nice. Everyone is so polite. Even the patients, they must be thinking “oh god, I’m stuck with a medical student” but not at all. They keep talking to you. They’re really nice here. 

Do you have any advice for any future students?

For students doing surgery electives, stay in touch with patient all day, just because surgery is over doesn’t mean you should stop. Spend a lot of time on EPIC, learn all the tricks and tips. Here I use it a lot more. The American medical students here are nice and help me a lot.