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Plymouth-Canton Students Watch Live Surgery Broadcast
Start Date
Honors biology students from the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park were trying to listen for possible questions on their next test – but they weren’t focused on their teacher. Instead, they were absorbed in watching a live broadcast of a laparoscopic pelvic surgery being performed at St. Mary Mercy Hospital.

Timothy Johnson, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Mary Mercy Hospital, performed the minimally invasive procedure as 55 students watched from a hospital classroom last Wednesday, April 4. The live video feeds – a first for St. Mary Mercy – of the operating room and the laparoscopic camera were broadcast onto a widescreen TV and two projector screens. The students asked Dr. Johnson questions as he was navigating the laparoscopic camera around the organs. The procedure lasted about an hour and a half.

“They all said to me at the end, ‘Wow, it doesn’t look like this in the book,’” said Sharon Caldwell, an honors biology teacher at Plymouth-Canton Educational Park, a campus that encompasses Canton, Plymouth and Salem high schools.

It was among the activities designed to help the students gain insight in the medical field. The students also toured the surgery department, an operating room, as well as tried their skills in various medical simulations: orthopedic surgery, orthopedic casting, using technology in brain surgery, and laparoscopy.

Dr. Johnson and Perioperative Services at St. Mary Mercy organized the activities for the high school students. Dr. Johnson, whose son attends honors biology, had visited the students before the surgery and gave a presentation of his medical mission trips in the Dominican Republic.

“This is all part of giving back,” said Dr. Johnson. “I want to provide this opportunity for the students. I am fortunate that I entered a field that I enjoy. They also get to see that what they are learning in the classroom does matter and how it applies in real life.”