Medical Students Create Video on General Surgery as a Career

What is it like — really like? — to be a practicing general surgeon?  What are the rewards? The challenges?  And what exactly does the field of general surgery encompass? These are just some of the myriad questions medical students may ask themselves as they ponder their future career options.

The best way to find answers to these and other questions is to go directly to the source — practicing general surgeons — and hear what they have to say.  So that’s precisely what a group of student leaders from the Boston University Surgical Society did.  Under the mentorship of faculty member Tracey Dechert, MD, the Surgical Society was established to foster interest in general surgery and the surgical subspecialties among BU’s medical students.

Using equipment loaned by the BU College of Communications, the students spent two months creating a video featuring interviews with five BUSM/Boston Medical Center surgeons, who describe their subspecialty areas, dispel some common myths, and share what they love about their work. The result is an engaging, informative 21-minute video that pulls back the curtain on a field of medicine that is sometimes not well understood.

The faculty who were interviewed for the video represent different subspecialty areas of general surgery: Dr. Dechert (acute care and trauma surgery/surgical critical care), Cullen Carter, MD (minimally invasive and bariatric surgery), Thurston Drake, MD, MPH (surgical endocrinology), Jason Hall, MD, MPH (colon and rectal surgery), and Teviah Sachs, MD, MPH (surgical oncology).

In collaboration with Dr. Dechert and General Surgery resident Sherif Aly, MD, who did the editing, the students who conducted the interviews and did the filming are: Daniel Aldea, Susana Benitez, Matthew Peacock, Michal Plocienniczak, and Nirupama Vellanki.

“This is a well-produced and very informative  video that captures so much of what is so special about being a general surgeon and provides answers to questions that may help medical students decide if this is the right career path for them,” says Surgery Chief and Chair Jennifer Tseng, MD, MPH. “I am grateful to my fellow surgeons for sharing their insights about our amazing profession; to Dr. Aly, who did a terrific job with the editing; and to the BU Surgical Society medical students, who conceived of this video and worked so hard to make it a reality.”


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