Well, I just finished Community Rounds at the University of Vermont Medical Center, and I just have to tell you about it because it was unexpected, wonderful and quite fabulous! I was with a group of about 12 people and we started out with a meeting with the guy who runs the show, John Brumsted, CEO at the UVM Medical Center. John is a very positive person and even with all the changes in medicine these days.
His attitude is “full speed ahead and let’s be the very best WE can be!” Such a refreshingly positive attitude. It was infectious! I also learned that Vermont is one of the top three healthiest states in the union. Hearing that, it felt good to be a Vermonter!
I then spent time with Dr. Peter Spector, from the Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory. Peter and his team were doing an operation called an ablation, basically a heart operation and it was very, very cool. There were a lot of TV monitors on the wall, and I watched the operation in detail. Peter is a professional and is at the same time funny and interesting. He knows his stuff and hearts are complicated. I was watching the patient’s heart pump while seeing a catheter probe into it, all on live TV screens was awesome! Here is a short video on ablations for you to look at.
The fun continued, and I saw a presentation by Stephen Higgins, the Director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health at the University of Vermont. Stephen showed us how our health is critically related to the food we eat. It reminded me of an article I had read. I then went out and bought the book “Sugar, Salt, Fat” and thoroughly enjoyed reading it while thinking about the fabulous studies going on at the UVM Medical Center. I felt so fortunate to know we have such a gem in our backyard in Burlington. These people are passionate about excellence and work to make their area in the hospital a little better each and every day.
I also did something almost naughty. My group went to the “Clinical Simulation Lab” where medical students practice on medical manikins. They do different exams and medical procedures on them and the idea is to learn on them so that by the time you do an actual exam on a patient, the odds of getting it right are very high. Very smart! Well Susie, I actually performed a colonoscopy on a manikin!
Then, I watched a manikin breathing and we put him into shock and then got him out of it. We saved his life, kind of…. It was all downright fun!!
All in all, it was an exciting two days. I learned a lot and felt proud to have such an excellent institution in our backyard.
Peter Asch is a local businessman and entrepreneur. He owns Twincraft Skincare, a manufacturer of Soap and Body products in Winooski and Essex Junction.