In Missouri, a young female surgical resident worked on heart surgery for the first time alongside her father, also a physician.
In the United States, Harold Roberts is a 66-year-old cardiac surgeon who has been practicing medicine for 32 years. Last August, he also became an associate professor of cardiac surgery. Fascinated by her father ‘s journey , his daughter Sophia decided to follow in his footsteps and begin her medical studies.
Aged 30, she is now a resident in general surgery and is training to become a cardiac surgeon like her father.
Sophia has always been interested in medicine because when she was 11, her father took her to see her first operation.
“Instead of reading her storybooks, I showed her anatomy books. She really showed a real interest in medicine. The first case she saw was me fixing a mitral valve and instead of being agitated she was fascinated and quite quiet. She was watching carefully and seemed to really enjoy what she was seeing ,” Harold explained.
A father and daughter work together on the same operation
Recently, Sophia and Harold had the chance to work together, on the same surgery . For the first time, Sophia was able to walk into an operating theater and work on an aortic valve replacement.
“I told Sophia I had this case coming up and she read a lot about it. She had never been to an operation ,” Harold explained.
For a month, Sophia studied the procedure and prepared for the operation with the help of her father. On D-Day, she managed to open the patient’s chest. According to her father, working with her was “a really pleasant thing” and the young woman did “an excellent job” .
“It was really very fluid. I wouldn’t have done better if I had had another cardiac surgeon to help me. What could have been better? I taught this kid to ride a bike a few decades ago. Now to be able to teach her to operate on a human heart is quite mind-blowing ,” he said.
The patient is in good health
Same story from the side of Sophia, who kept a great concentration throughout the duration of the operation.
“It was very special that I operated with him but frankly, I could have operated with anyone. During an operation, you just focus on the patient and make the surgery go smoothly ,” she explained.
The patient has been in good health since his operation, and he was delighted to learn that a father and daughter had come together to work together and treat him. Sophia will continue to work in cardiovascular research, before returning to general surgery following her 7-year residency program.