Doctors are watching surgical procedures on YouTube

I wish I could get the perspective from the surgeon!

We would have lapped up the videos if the access had been feasible (internet was still in its infancy at 3G, and broadband meant 1 Mbps as the “fastest” option in the market). We have definitely moved on from that era with persistent connectivity, and I have a 100 Mbps residential broadband through fibre.

I am not going in the merits or algorithmic approaches on YouTube’s suggested videos. However, it represents what Indians call as “jugaad”. There are a few enterprising individuals who put out videos about procedures, but there are several grey areas around it.

Barad, who completed his surgical training at UCLA in 2015, said YouTube has become a fixture of medical education. He’d often get prepped by watching a video before a procedure. Sometimes he’d even open a YouTube video in the operating theater when confronted with a particularly challenging surgery or unexpected complication.

“I don’t know a surgeon who hasn’t had a similar experience,” said Barad, who has now started a surgical training company called Osso VR.

CNBC found tens of thousands of videos showing a wide variety of medical procedures on the Google-owned video platform, some of them hovering around a million views. People have livestreamed giving birth and broadcast their face-lifts

It is difficult to “standardise” procedures/ not adopt the “short-cuts” to achieve the same results. For example, in my routine image segmentation, I have to give credence to different treatment volumes (high/intermediate or low risk) and planning the clinical target volumes accordingly. I remain a huge fan of Simultaneous Integrated Boost (SIB); especially for head and neck as it is a lovely evolution of the concomitant boost. However, the way I define the volumes depends on my machine to deliver the treatment and the optimiser algorithm to avoid junctional hotspots/overlaps. Likewise, for the extended neck treatments with VMAT. It has become feasible with the newer machines, but there’s a concern about dose variation across the contours.

(Those reading this: Wasn’t compensator based IMRT a better idea?)

Therefore clinical practises wary with the local limitations.

I am all for YouTube, but it should come with the disclaimers too. What applies in the videos need not necessarily apply in actual-world conditions that users face.

More importantly, this functional knowledge (that delivers results) is superior to bookish knowledge that would help you pass your assessments.

via Doctors are watching surgical procedures on YouTube