COF Bones and Phones Scholarship Recipient: Jessica Page

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

The Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2016 Bones and Phones Scholarship:  Jessica Page from the University of Calgary.

The Bones and Phones Legacy Scholarship Fund was established to recognize orthopaedic residents who have demonstrated commitment and contribution to enhancing musculoskeletal health in their community, or abroad, beyond that which would be expected during their residency training period.  Founded by Dr. Veronica Wadey and Mr. Henry Chow, this $1,000 award recognizes and honours the vital role surgeons play in the lives of others.

Jessica’s project is entitled, “Direct from the Operating Room: Interactive realtime broadcasts of total knee arthroplasty to high school students.”

“Direct from the Operating Room” is an innovative, award-winning program aimed at high school students to allow a real-time peek into the world of surgery. Students attend a live broadcast of a total knee arthroplasty shown on the big screen at the 164 seat auditorium of the Telus SPARK Science Center in Calgary, AB. Through in-light and wall mounted cameras, the surgery is video-streamed from the operating room at Rockyview General Hospital to the science center. Microphones connect the students with the surgeon, allowing him to narrate the steps of the procedure and answer questions immediately as they arise. Throughout the broadcast, an opportunity is provided for the anesthesiologist and a circulating nurse to speak about their contributions and answer questions about their careers and their role in the operating room. The program has been running monthly during the school year since its start in fall 2013.

At the beginning of the broadcast, an orthopedic resident chats with a facilitator from the Telus SPARK about a variety of topics related to orthopedic surgery, including the role of a resident and the training path of an orthopedic surgeon, the scope of orthopedic medicine, pathophysiology of osteoarthritis, anatomy of the knee joint, etc. An effort is made to get the audience asking and answering questions early so that they are primed for the interactive opportunity to ask questions of the surgeon during the broadcast. The resident also educates the students about additional allied health care careers, including physiotherapist, radiation technologist, occupational therapist, biomechanical engineer, and nursing attendant.

Jessica explains the impact of the program: ”Over 1500 Calgary-area students have had an opportunity to witness a surgery broadcast and learn more about musculoskeletal health and health-care based careers.  Feedback to the program has been immensely positive. We have received emails from teachers expressing how exciting the program was for their students, and we have had repeat classes each year since the program’s inception. I have received a personal Christmas card from one of the participating schools, thanking me for my ongoing commitment to their education. I believe the increasing bookings of the program year over year speak to the value that educators see in the broadcast. Recently, we have been able to expand the broadcast via teleconference to students outside of the immediate Calgary area who are unable to attend the science center in person. Hopefully more schools will be able to take advantage of the remote broadcast in the future to broaden our educational reach beyond our urban center. Media coverage of the program has also been favourable and speaks to the immediate impact that the program has on individual students.”

Jessica is enthusiastic about the program and appreciative of the award.  She says, “It is a pleasure to be involved in the Direct From the OR arthroplasty broadcasts to high school students.  As surgeons, it is easy to view our daily procedures as routine.  Seeing them through the eyes of the students, who are witnessing a surgery for the first time, reminds me how privileged we are to be able to help patients in this way.  I am honoured to receive the Bones and Phones scholarship in recognition of my efforts to connect the young public with the world of orthopedics.”

The award was presented during the COA AGM in Quebec City in June 2016.