By Christian Vega
Members of the Pre-Med Club traveled to the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 16, to explore the facility and to learn about the technology used at the center.
Mrs. Carey McCarthy, mother of sophomore Trevor McCarthy, and a UCLA tour leader arranged the event. It began with a visit to the robotics lab. The room contained several simulators for robotic surgery, which cost several millions of dollars each, according to Pre-Med club co-moderator Mr. Paul Picard. The students were shown exactly how the machines functioned and were allowed to try them out.
Sophomore Jann Vincent Cosico said, “We got to see first-hand the machines that they use on patients. They showed us exactly how the machines worked and also let us try some out for ourselves.”
Pre-Med club President David Tse, a senior, said, “The robotic surgery was my favorite place to visit because it’s so futuristic. It’s like something straight out of a movie.”
Pre-Med club co-moderator Mrs. Kimberly Simon said, “I think that the students got a really nice experience with the surgical robotics because they were able to work hands on with the surgical instruments.”
“Our students got to have the same instrumental training that the surgeons have, so they were able to manipulate the robotic devices. I think the students got a lot out of that because that’s the cutting edge of medicine,” Mrs. Simon said.
The group then went to the UCLA Medical Plaza to look at the facility’s hyperbaric chamber. Mr. Picard said, “The hyperbaric chamber was basically a pressurized chamber that someone would go into and the doctors would put in pure oxygen to help treat a number of conditions, such as serious infections.”
The tour finished at the Interventional Radiology department, where the doctors explained some procedures and talked about different kinds of surgeries that occur there.
Ms. Simon said, “My favorite place was the Interventional Radiology because that was something we didn’t see last year on the trip. But for me, it was the most interesting and something that I didn’t know they were doing in UCLA, and the imaging capabilities they had were very impressive.”
Sophomore Trevor McCarty said, “We saw many different careers and opportunities. We met nurses, hyperbaric technicians, radiologists, surgeons, and we learned about many more careers.”
When asked what did this trip showed about medicine, Davis said, “It showed me how different the specific fields of medicine are and there are tons of branches to explore and develop a passion for. For example, if you don’t like dealing with blood, there are tons of specialties that don’t deal with blood at all such as x-Ray specialist.”
Mr. Picard said that the the trip was an overall success. “Students got to see different sides of what it means to practice medicine. They saw advanced technology, like the robotic surgery, and the old, like the hyperbaric chamber,” said Mr. Picard. The Pre-Med Club plans to conduct another field trip in the spring, according to Mr. Picard.