CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- From the operating room to the classroom, a Charleston Area Medical Center program seeks to provide high schoolers with a glimpse at real surgical procedures.
Last week, CAMC's program Imagine U hosted a webcast of a pre-recorded knee replacement surgery. After watching the surgery, high school juniors and seniors could tweet or email their questions.
Dr. Alexander Rosenstein, the orthopedic surgeon, was in CAMC Memorial's studio to answer questions as they came in.
In this program, CAMC partners with the West Virginia Department of Education to provide students interested in the health care field a way to learn about their potential future careers.
The program reaches 30 high schools and technical centers across the state, explained Debra Catron, health science coordinator with the West Virginia Department of Education. Catron said registration for Thursday's webcast was the largest ever at 1,710 students.
"We have had schools from the Eastern Panhandle, Northern Panhandle, to the southern part of the state participate," Catron said. "Of course, since it's being accessed through the archives, we don't have any numbers on that."
The first ImagineU event was conducted in the fall of 2007. They do one webcast a year and all surgery videos are archived. Jessica Dussield, CAMC's online communications strategist, explained the program's name encourages students to imagine themselves in the health care field.
"The dilemma that brought this about is that it has become increasingly difficult to be exposed to health care settings because of federal privacy," explained Debby Roquet, CAMC workforce development coordinator and human resources.
Patients must sign off to have their surgeries featured in this program, explained Beverly Thornton, CAMC Institute's education division director.
"I don't think there has ever been a patient to deny us to do that but we also ask the surgeons to be considering their patient population for this on who would be a good candidate," Thornton said. "It's one of those things where they want to give back a little to give knowledge."
The program doesn't just feature one type of surgery. Thornton explained in the past, CAMC has shown open heart, brain, orthopedic trauma and renal transplant surgeries.
"In addition to the renal transplant, we also had a connection to ethics of who gets a kidney and who doesn't," Thornton explained.