JMSA Shadowing Program Report 3

JMSA Shadowing Program Report 3

Message from Megumi Grace Sugita:

The shadowing opportunity I had through JMSA will influence me throughout my pursuit in medicine. I arrived at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to shadow cardiothoracic surgeons Dr. Hitoshi Hirose, Dr. Shinya Unai, and Dr. Daiso Tanaka [JMSA Mentors].

Upon my arrival, the first case was for a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). We first reviewed the angiogram previously taken from the patient. The team of anesthesiologist, nurses, physician assistant, and surgeon worked to set up the sterile environment and completed the procedure in six hours. There were a few unexpected complications, such as the physical state of the tissue due to the natural aging process; however, the overall process of reattaching the femoral vein to the heart went smoothly. They brought the patient to the waiting room and consulted the family members to review the status of the patient.

The next procedure I observed was a cardiac transection to remove the patient from an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine. The cardiac transection took around two hours, and the patient was intubated to provide efficient oxygenation of the blood from the lungs and taken back to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) for the completion of the recovery.

After speaking to the surgeons who originally came from Japan, I learned the differences that Japanese surgeons face of working on average 80-100 hours/week and with decreased amount of pay. In America, they work with a larger surgical team and have opportunities for young surgeons to receive extensive training in cardiothoracic surgery. This experience allowed me to expand my curiosity, and strengthen my desire to work with a team of health professionals, as I witnessed the strength of impact they have on the lives and families of others.