Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Surgeons and Operating Room Staff Open Students' Eyes to a Career in Medicine

Surgeons and staff introduce the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System to De Marillac Academy students

Oct 30, 2015, 20:38 ET from Dignity Health Saint Francis Memorial Hospital

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, Oct. 27, fourth-through seventh-grade students from De Marillac Academy experienced first-hand what it is like to be a surgeon, thanks to the surgeons and operating room staff from Dignity Health Saint Francis Memorial Hospital.

Approximately 150 students were introduced to the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, a state-of-the-art technology used to perform minimally invasive procedures. Surgeons and staff shared their educational and career journeys, in the hopes of opening students' eyes to careers in medicine they may not have considered. Each student had an opportunity to sit at the robotic console and direct the instruments. They also practiced on the same simulator that the Saint Francis surgeons use for practice and training.

David Duong, MD, PhD was one of the Saint Francis surgeons who presented to students throughout the day. When he shared his educational and career journey– that he grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, before attending medical school at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine – the room perked up. Dr. Duong told the students that with hard work and good grades, they could become surgeons and use state-of-the-art technology like the da Vinci to help people.

"My colleague, Dr. Ross, and I have already seen some future surgeons here," said Dr. Duong.

Using the da Vinci robot system, a surgeon operates through a single small incision. The robot features a magnified, 3D, high-definition vision system and special wristed instruments controlled by the surgeon, which bend and rotate much more that the human wrist. The robotic surgery system assists the surgeons on Saint Francis' medical staff in gynecological, urological, gastrointestinal, and general surgeries.

In addition to interacting with the da Vinci robot, students were asked to help Saint Francis name the robot. Students drew a picture of the robot, and suggested a name. A panel from Saint Francis will review the names proposed by students and a winner will be announced in early November. The winner will have their photo taken with the robot, in the operating room at Saint Francis. The photo will be framed and hung outside the operating room to commemorate this special day for students and Saint Francis staff.

About Saint Francis Memorial Hospital

Dignity Health Saint Francis Memorial Hospital is an accredited, not-for-profit community hospital that has been providing exceptional healthcare in San Francisco for more than 100 years. Located atop Nob Hill, near downtown San Francisco, Saint Francis is home to the Bothin Burn Center, the largest in Northern California, the Center for Sports Medicine, the Spine Institute of San Francisco and the Total Joint Center. With its close proximity to downtown San Francisco, Saint Francis also specializes in Occupational Health and Emergency Medicine. Saint Francis has been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine and Hip/Knee Replacement Surgery and is a Certified Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. For more information, call (415) 353-6000 or visit

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SOURCE Dignity Health Saint Francis Memorial Hospital