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Bellarmine Prep students visit Allenmore to try surgical robot
"This is so much better than Xbox!"
Nick is a student at Bellarmine Preparatory School, which is just a few blocks away from the Allenmore medical campus in central Tacoma. On Thursday, 19 students from the school's Student Engineering Program, "Team 360 - The Revolution," visited Allenmore at the invitation of MultiCare surgeon Dr. Stephen Poore.
In the engineering program, coached by Eric Stokely, the students build and program robots for competitions, so they were especially interested checking out the medical robot.
"I've always been interested in robotics, and I have a LEGO robotics set," Nick said after he finished his turn at the controls. "This is like taking it and putting it on steroids. Maybe in 20 years, this is what I'll be building."
He added that he'd prefer to build robots because surgery makes him queasy.
"I can't stomach that," he said.
Fellow Bellarmine freshman Vivek Ramachandran also enjoyed seeing the surgical robot.
"It takes engineering to the top level," Vivek said. "It just shows how much you really can achieve if you put your mind to it."
Dr. Poore had the idea three years ago to invite the Bellarmine students into the operating room.
"We have kids with an interest in robotics, and we have MultiCare with a top-tier robotics program, so it made sense to bring them together," said Dr. Poore, whose son, Killian, was in the Bellarmine engineering program three years ago. "They're obviously jazzed about it."
Bellarmine 11th-grader Lauren Maas said she knew someone who had a procedure with the da Vinci Surgery System. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine, so Dr. Poore gave her a game of "Operation" to start practicing.
The da Vinci Surgery System at Allenmore is one of four within MultiCare Health System.
Not only did MultiCare pioneer daVinci robotic-assisted surgery in the South Sound, but MultiCare's robotic-certified surgeons have collectively clocked more hours doing these exacting procedures than anyone else in the area. MultiCare is one of only three Epicenter Teaching Centers for robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System on the West Coast, and one of 23 in the nation.
Posted on Jan 11, 2013 in Tacoma