CSurgeries Through the Eyes of a Future Surgeon

Akshay Krishnan
University of Arkansas Medical School, 2nd year

Congratulations to our GoPro Contest winner, Akshay Krishan!  As a medical student, he shares his personal experience with CSurgeries and the value it provides to fellow students who may be interested in pursuing a career in surgery.   

Tell me little bit about yourself.

I am currently a 2nd year medical student at UAMS. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but decided to come back home for my medical training.

I was initially introduced to CSurgeries through a “Summer in Surgery” Program I completed through UAMS last summer—a one month program that was started by the General Surgery Department at the hospital. The goal of the program is to introduce students to General Surgery, recruit them to the field and introduce them to what General Surgery has to offer.  Through that program, I met Dr. Golinko. He gave me the opportunity to film one of the procedures (Fronto-Orbital Advancement and Cranial Vault Remodeling for Metopic Craniosynostosis) and publish to the site.

Were you always interested in surgery? Was surgery what you had in mind when you were accepted to medical school?

Yes. I’ve always been interested in surgery. Going into medical school, I was interested in orthopedic surgery. But completing the Summer in Surgery Program has broadened my view of the surgical field, so I am definitely interested in other areas as well. I’m excited to start my third year and get on the surgery rotation to see what else the field has to offer.

How has CSurgeries contributed to your education at UAMS?

CSurgeries has been beneficial. After I filmed the surgery with Dr. Golinko, he gave me free rein to do my own research, edit the video as I pleased, and add in the necessary content. In doing so, I got to do quite a bit of research on various medical topics that I had no experience with previously. I learned so much by doing this first-hand research and also developed a deeper appreciation for various medical concepts that I had learned in class.

How were you able to determine the surgical steps to focus on when putting together your video for peer-reviewed publication?

The procedure itself was between 7-8 hours. I didn’t film it in entirety, but I did film a good amount to make sure I got all the footage I would need later on.  Before I began distilling my footage down to the main components, I talked with Dr. Golinko and created an outline of the key points to focus my video on. From there, I did plenty of research and made sure to include/explain every key step in the craniosynostosis procedure.    

How long did it take to find that information and put it all together?

As a whole, the project did not take very long. Doing the research was pretty easy, so most of my time was spent going through all the footage and editing the clips to fit into the 5 minute limit.

How did you film the procedure?

For the majority of the surgery, I used one of Dr. Golinko’s cameras. For the last portion, I used my iPhone (Dr. Golinko’s camera had run out of memory).

What would you like to see CSurgeries do in the future? How can we help medical students who are interested in surgery?

I was introduced to CSurgeries through the Summer in Surgery Program. If medical students knew more about CSurgeries and knew that they could actively contribute to the site and get some publications for their own resumes, that would be extremely beneficial.

For those who are interested in the surgical field (or those who never really considered surgery as an option), giving them the opportunity to watch the videos on the site would be really beneficial. It can get more people involved in surgery and is also a great educational tool. Every medical student is going to have to go into their third year and do some kind of surgical rotation, so just watching some of the more common surgical procedures on the site would give students a basic understanding of the things they are going to see. Students would also gain a better appreciation of things the surgeon must do throughout each surgery.

Do medical students get any education in regards to video education in class and/or lecture?

I myself have not received any formal education on video education or projects. I wasn’t aware that video publications are a type of publication that is commonly used until I was introduced to CSurgeries.  

As far as video and teaching is concerned, our in-class lectures are recorded, so we can go back and re-watch things if we need to. Outside of that, a lot of the video educational tools we use are primarily geared towards Step 1 preparation.  

What advice would you give medical students who are thinking about surgical residency?

Surgical residency and the quality of life of surgeons have a reputation of being very difficult, time intensive and exhausting. While that’s all true, the positives of surgery need to be detailed to the students.  It’s honestly a very rewarding field to get into. Just by shadowing various surgeons and participating in the Summer in Surgery Program, I gained an appreciation of how these kinds of procedures really changed patients’ lives. Introducing medical students to the field and showing them the positives of surgery would be immensely beneficial both for them and the surgical field as a whole.

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