CCDS students selected for the TAP MD program recently watched a kidney transplant surgery live at UC Medical Center. Juniors Shaan Dahar and Kaitlyn Hardesty were among about 50 students who witnessed the operation shown on a large auditorium screen.
Ironically, the surgery was performed by CCDS parent Dr. Madison Cuffy, father of Alana '28 and Sasha, Pre-K I. Dr. Cuffy operated on the kidney donor, while another surgeon operated on the recipient simultaneously. Dr. Cuffy performs liver, kidney and pancreas transplants, living donor nephrectomies, general surgery and dialysis access.
"The live experience is valuable because this demonstrates to students in real time the complexity of what we do as surgeons," Dr. Cuffy said. "It gives them a 'real world or real time' view of an operation. I became interested in transplantation when I observed a transplant surgeon who performed a renal transplant. Most of the students involved are interested in medicine, and most students are fascinated by the video."
Shaan and Kaitlyn were both impressed.
"Surgery has always interested me, so being able to see one through the same instrument that the surgeon uses was amazing," Shaan said. "After seeing how small the tools he used were in comparison to his fingers and imagining the concentration it takes to make those cuts without cutting the wrong body part, I respect and admire the work of these professionals even more."
Kaitlyn added, "Watching the kidney transplant live, with doctors and medical residents explaining the surgical details, was fascinating! The insightful descriptions were invaluable to my understanding of the operation."
Dr. Cuffy's partner, Dr. Tyyab Diwan, provided he commentary during the surgery. Besides doing the surgery that TAP MD students observed, Dr. Cuffy serves as a mentor to some individual students who participate in the program.
Three CCDS juniors were selected for the year-long, city-wide 2017 TAP MD, a highly competitive program aimed at sparking interesting in medical careers. Lizzie Norwood was also selected for the program, but was unable to attend the day of the surgery.
Kaitlyn applied to the program to refine her future college path and explore career options. "The unique opportunities that TAP MD provides will allow me to gain greater insight into the medical field, as well as professions in medicine," she said. "I look forward to the rest of the diverse experiences TAP MD offers. My discussion with the doctors after watching the kidney transplant were extremely insightful, and I enjoyed being able to test out the surgical instruments."
Shaan wanted to participate in the program because he'd like to narrow his career choice. "I know that medicine is the field I want to work in, but I'm not sure what area of medicine I'd like to pursue," he said. "A friend of mine described the program's vast coverage of the medical field through experiences such as watching a live surgery, as well as volunteer work. I think the first-hand experience will help me with my decision on what field in medicine to pursue. I also joined because the interactivity of the program is really cool."
"I am very excited to see the other opportunities that this program will bring me," Shaan said. "I'm especially eager to see any events based around neuroscience. Also, the lab coats they gave us are pretty awesome."
Click here to see a WLWT news segment about the live surgery.
TAP MD students from CCDS are, from left, Shaan Dahar, Lizzie Norwood and Kaitlyn Hardesty.