Faces of U of T Medicine: Dr. Vanessa Palter

Dec 16, 2014
Author: 
Suniya Kukaswadia
Vanessa Palter and colleagues

U of T Medicine’s Vanessa Palter helped take surgery out of the operating room and onto the social web last month by live tweeting a laparoscopic right hemicolectomy, a colon cancer-related surgery, at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She spoke to U of T Medicine about what it was like to broadcast the procedure on the Twitterverse.


Name: Vanessa Palter

Program/year: First year surgical oncology fellow

Role/position: Live tweeter

What was it like live tweet a surgery?
I’ve never done anything like this before. I got to answer some really good questions from a range of people. For example, we had grade five students send us a few challenging ones. The tricky part was answering in a thoughtful way using 140 characters or less. Luckily I was working with a talented team who helped a lot.

What inspired you to participate?
Dr. Shady Ashamalla, my supervisor, was asked to participate and he approached me as well.

What did you find most exciting about the whole thing?
The most exciting aspect was being able to take something I do every day and make it accessible to the public. The operating room is like a secret lair—patients are nervous about going in for surgery. What’s it going to be like? What’s going to happen? It’s rare for people to follow along with the surgeon in the operating room. I think it helped alleviate fears about surgery.

What did you hope to accomplish by live tweeting the surgery?
We wanted to raise awareness about colon cancer, and show everyone how preventable it is.

What's your favourite thing about the Faculty of Medicine?
We have an amazing community here. People from all around the world share their unique experiences. I went to med school at U of T, did my residency here and I’m currently doing my surgical oncology fellowship here. U of T Medicine surpassed my expectations.

Photo: Dr. Palter (far right) with members of Sunnybrook's communications team.

Learn what our students are up to inside and outside of the classroom with Faces of U of T Medicine. From advising political leaders to providing care to Toronto’s most vulnerable populations, our students are making an impact on communities at home and around the world.

Do you have an interesting story to share? Contact Suniya Kukaswadia at suniya.kukaswadia@utoronto.ca

Tweets

Temerty Medicine
@uoftmedicine
Interested in nephrology and how medical treatments have been tailored to improve patient outcomes? Check out the n… https://t.co/wDz55aVUBb
Temerty Medicine
@uoftmedicine
RT : It's ! This week, we are featuring one of our PhD students "Wade Michaelchuk" 👏👏👏 ---… https://t.co/zkfZusb4zL
Temerty Medicine
@uoftmedicine
Congratulations, Arnav! We will miss you 💙

Researchers are mobilizing against the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-19.

Make a gift and support their important work.
Oct 5 – May 6
Academic Health Leadership Training – Now Accepting Applications 2020-2021 Cohort
Course | 8:00am–5:00pm
Oct 13 – Jun 8
Certificate Program in CPD Foundations
Course | 12:00pm–1:30pm
Oct 27 – Jun 23
Leading and Influencing Change in CPD
Course | 9:00am–12:00pm
Dec
3 – 5
Indigenous Health Conference
Conference | 8:00am–5:15pm
Dec
4 – 5
Ted Rogers Centre 2020 Heart Failure Symposium
Symposium | 9:00am–1:00pm
Dec 7 TRP Presents - CO(VID): Networking In The Time Of COVID
Other | 6:00pm–7:30pm
Dec 14 In Pursuit of Equity: Transforming Physician Training
Temerty Medicine Talk | 12:00pm–1:00pm