For the past 20 years I have criss-crossed the US and Canada to record hundreds of medical procedures. As someone who went to school for broadcast communications, it has been quite fascinating, and I'm always learning new things about medicine and the human body. Here's proof:

Edit: Thanks to everyone who asked and participated. This has been more popular than I could have imagined. Keep the questions coming, as I look at Reddit daily. Cheers.

Edit 2: Most popular questions and brief answers - to save you the trouble of asking them again:

1 - Junior mints? Nope, but great reference.

2 - Vomit? Nope but always a possibility.

3 - Is it gross? Not to me, but maybe to you!

4 - Can you look at this growth on my back? What is it? Talk to a doctor!

5 - Anyone ever die on the table? Not in my experience.

6 - what does the body smell like when cut open? Daisies.

Aside from these, ask away. And check out some of the sidebar threads - people are great at tangential conversations.

This has been great fun.

Comments: 678 • Responses: 84  • Date: 

Prof_Acorn361 karma

I first read this as "I am a medieval velociraptor." Your real profession is cool and all, but what if you really were a medieval velociraptor? How would you spend your afternoons?

VideoCT318 karma

I suppose being a velociraptor in Medieval times would be pretty enjoyable. Lots of peasants to eat and no real predators, unless there are also Medieval T-Rexes. After a tasty morning meal of the local farmer or two, i would imagine the afternoons would be spent sleeping under a bridge and occasionally scaring a passerby.

gijen3123 karma

Clever girl...

VideoCT102 karma

I almost took offense, but I got you

Skrattybones148 karma

Ever thrown up?

VideoCT495 karma

one time after eating BK french toast sticks, and then going out on a boat, I hurled big time

As far as in my job, no, though I have gotten a little queasy once or twice from the surgical smoke plume

Skrattybones87 karma


What kind of contingencies are there for someone in the operating room suddenly finding themselves about to vomit? I can't imagine they just have a trash can nearby, but needing to flee the room before you lose it seems like it could get messy as well.

VideoCT155 karma

An OR is a place where everyone is there to care for the patient, but also for each other - very collegial normally. If anyone thinks they are about to be sick, just speak up. You'll probably have a nurse tell you to sit down and put your head between your legs, or take you out of the room. It happens.

FreyjaSunshine156 karma

Nursing students tend to drop like flies. We sit them down against a wall.

VideoCT83 karma

My wife used to pass out when running the C-Arm during ortho cases.

FreyjaSunshine53 karma

That was a med student job back in the 80's. Now they have people who are actually qualified running the C-arm!

Yeah, the OR isn't for everybody.

VideoCT61 karma

at the time she was a rad tech student - hence she ultimately went into MRI/CT - no blood

stcamellia134 karma

What is it like to prep all the equipment for the room? How much did you have to learn about biology and healthcare?

VideoCT160 karma

Thanks for the question. It depends how close to the sterile filed I am going to be. Normally they OR staff ask me to wipe down the gear with a wet cloth, or a antibacterial wipe. I just wipe gently on anything electronic. Most important thing is to remember what is sterile and what isn't. Normally you stay away from anything blue or green.

As far as technical knowledge you kind of pick it up as you go. Let's say i work on a project about obesity surgery for a year - it is inevitable I am going to learn something!

stcamellia49 karma

You don't have to verify the cleanliness of the equipment? No cool tools?

How do you know what is relevant to film?

VideoCT132 karma

As for what is relevant, I use the rule "record everything, edit later." This is easy these days as digital media is so inexpensive. Back when I first started, when a blank BetaSP tape was $35 for 30 minutes, we had to start and stop the camera frequently, and ask the surgeon "do we need this" if we could not tell ourselves. But after seeing a lot of surgery you realize what is important and what isn't, although you never know when something is about to become important! So now that we may actually record all 12 hours of a case, the editing is where you boil it down to the salient points. Like editing any long sequence, you know the beginning and the end, and you then figure out what middle parts are needed to tell a story. Whether it is a dramatic movie or a gallbladder operation, you are telling a story.

VideoCT47 karma

Depends, again, on proximity and the policy of the particular hospital. Normally as long as the tripod and camera look clean it is ok. The lens (and my hands operating the camera) are a few feet from anything sterile. Likewise the overhead lights are not sterile either.

We have cool video gear, cameras, digital recorders, wireless mics, light stands, etc. It is very cool seeing the cool medical tools - HD scopes, energy devices (for example there is a device called an argon beam coagulator which looks like a lightsaber in use (fires a short beam of electrically charged argon gas to coagulate tissue)), surgical saws and endless hand instruments. Here are a few of those:

VideoCT22 karma

It is not always surgery - we also shoot training videos using"simulated" patients

RealityIsMyReligion126 karma

Blooper reel?

VideoCT28 karma

I'll never tell :)

mrsopenminded0924120 karma

Has anyone ever dropped a Junior Mint into the surgical incision of a patient?

VideoCT96 karma

I get asked this a lot. Nowadays with the absence of elevated viewing platforms it would be next to impossible.

PaladinSato106 karma

Have you always been okay with gore?

VideoCT793 karma

I thought he was an OK vice president

VideoCT127 karma

Gore in movies does not appeal to me.

A well-controlled surgery is generally not gory. I have seen some procedures like leg amputations which can be...messy. Lots of blood doesn't bother me, as long as it's not mine!

Dylan_the_Villain71 karma

Maybe this is a weird question, but what's the point in filming surgery? Like what do you usually do with the video of the surgery after you film it?

VideoCT112 karma

The videos serve several possible purposes:

To be presented at medical conventions, for the education of other surgeons

To demonstrate the use of a medical device, either for marketing, education or both

To help train residents and practicing surgeons

To be used as part of learning management systems used by medical students, residents and others

whatsabox17 karma

So how is it better (or is it) than say a medical illustrator? I have to imagine at times it is hard to get a "clean" shot or view of what is going on.

Edit follow up: do you currently work with any medical illustrators for your product?

VideoCT41 karma

Video and illustrations work hand in hand for education.

jwalkergraham64 karma


VideoCT65 karma

best to ask your doctor before the procedure. Not every case is recorded. Sometimes with something like a knee arthroscopy, the surgeon will take a few still photos for your record. Recording surgery (assuming is ia endoscopic) is usually easy to do, though in some OR's it is not setup for it.

funnygreensquares29 karma

Why do doctors take stills? When I had my ovary removed I got to see my insides. It was awesome. Is it because they know it's awesome? A liability thing? A record to show "holy shit your ovary really was that big... is that a tooth"?

VideoCT35 karma

If it is for the patient record, they sometimes are required to photograph the anatomy before or after they treat whatever they are doing. Like here is the hernia, and here is the hernia with mesh repair. Some surgeons who present a lot of videos will record their procedures, although the recording systems usually require either an external hard drive, large flash drive or lots of DVD-R discs.

FreyjaSunshine21 karma

I've never worked in one that was set up to do it in the 20+ years I've been anesthetizing people. It's a good day if the still photos actually print.

VideoCT21 karma

Laparoscopy towers have a recording device maybe 50% of the time Flexible endoscopy used to have a SVHS recorder, but now almost 100% of them have nothing other than a frame grab/printer.

At medical trade shows I see 3D and 4K surgical video devices, but have not yet seen these in a real hospital

Heartspot44 karma

Have you ever contaminated the sterile field?

VideoCT67 karma

This may sound like a broken record - early in my career, like the first time ever in an OR, I think I touched the handle on the overhead OR light. Luckily the OR nurses are always on the lookout for breaks in technique and I was lightly scolded and the handle was replaced. Occasionally, due to close proximity of working, a surgeon's arm my brush up against me or a tripod. When that happens, the surgeon changes gown or glove, and sometimes I wear a sterile gown (just as long as I don't touch the gown). But I am hyper aware of my movements.

Heartspot26 karma

Neat! I work in the OR, you'd think id have something more interesting to ask that was just the first thing that came to mind. I was wondering what exactly about obese surgeries are you focusing on, aside from obesity? It seems, at least where I am, all out patients are obese, smokers or both. What I see is that obesity is so rampant that when we get a patient that is just merely overweight we are presently surprised.

VideoCT27 karma

I should have said bariatric surgery (ie, weight loss). I said "obese" because a lot of people may not know what bariatric refers to. So I have worked on countless videos on procedures including gastric bypass, band, sleeve, duodenal switch and some of the new refinements and revisional procedures. A couple of years ago I coordinated 26 live bariatric surgery video broadcasts, all coming into a hotel ballroom in one day. We had satellite trucks parked in Times Square and surgeons participating from Japan, Australia, Europe, South America and the US.

Heartspot9 karma

That is quite the orchestration! I don't get the chance to be a part of those kinda of cases. Do you focus only on the cases themselves or do you follow the out comes as well?

VideoCT13 karma

Occasionally we'll interview a patient some time after surgery, especially with bariatric cases in which weight loss and improvements in lifestyle is a factor.

VideoCT16 karma

what do you do in the OR? Nurse, anesthesia, tech, doc?

Heartspot14 karma

I'm a heart and lung tech but I also do a lot of trama, mostly ortho.

Edited for crap punctuation.

VideoCT25 karma

techs make the world go 'round, and the machines go "beep" - thanks for all you do

Heartspot11 karma

Haha thank you. I usually keep the field sterile and the docs moving. :) I think I'm generally considered a scrub nurse but I'm not a nurse, I don't have a degree.

VideoCT11 karma

oh a Scrub Tech! We do a lot of videos related to your job too

pnewell35 karma

What's the longest procedure you have filmed?

VideoCT64 karma

We did a series of surgeries in which intraoperative chemotherapy is used. These are severe cancers like mesothelioma. After a few hours of removing visible tumor nodules, the surgeon pumps liquid chemotherapy solution into the abdomen for up to 3 hours. This is a good time to go get lunch or coffee, but then the surgery may continue for 6 or more hours after that. The longest one was 14 hours. Another long surgery was done on a young woman with persistent cloaca (google it). Open heart surgery is pretty time intensive also.

just_a_thought4U32 karma

Does anyone ever yell "cut"?

VideoCT12 karma

good one

jakemagurk32 karma

How often do you see errors by the surgical team? Do they demand that you erase the footage?

VideoCT63 karma

If I have seen an error I was not aware of it.

rackfocus25 karma

Mike is that you?

VideoCT27 karma

Who is this? PM me

trisarahtops1922 karma

Three questions:

  • What is the most common type of surgery you record?

  • Have you ever witnessed a procedure that was being done for the first time in history?

  • What was the most fascinating procedure you recorded?

VideoCT41 karma

-What is the most common type of surgery you record?

It tends to vary as the years go by. For many years i recorded a lot of obesity surgery, as those procedures were becoming more popular. Over my career I would say hernia, obesity and colorectal - which oddly enough are three of the most common types of surgery in general.

-Have you ever witnessed a procedure that was being done for the first time in history?

I have seen some pretty cutting edge stuff. While most procedures are pretty well established the innovations come in doing them differently, such as less invasive or using some new piece of technology. As far as this goes, I have seen the use of new medical devices and in some cases it has been one of the first times these were being used. And I have worked with several surgeons who are the ones that came up with either the devices, the procedure or both.

-What was the most fascinating procedure you recorded?

A few come to mind. About 10 years ago I recorded a nose reconstruction. A woman had cancer and had to have most of her nose removed, and had been using a prosthesis. This was a 2 month, 4 operation sequence in which tissue and bone were taken from other parts of the body to form a new nose.

Leg amputations are very fascinating. Heart surgery is also amazing. I worked with a surgeon who treated hypoplastic left heart syndrome in newborn babies.

Another fascinating one was treating gastroschisis . I filmed the C-Section, then followed the doctor, carrying the baby across the hall to an OR where he reduced the bowel back into the tiny abdomen. Seeing new life enter the world immediately followed by surgery is pretty amazing.

Anything life-saving is fascinating. I recorded a procedure to remove a tumor that was half in the heart, half in the lung.

But the routine stuff can be fascinating too.

triplaur21 karma

Do doctors get nervous about being filmed?

VideoCT34 karma

Usually the doctors are involved in setting up the filming, so they sort of direct what is happening, and these are generally people who do a lot of public speaking. The hospital sometimes gets concerned about patient privacy, but there are usually some forms to sign and it's all good.

whyareyousuccessful21 karma

How did you get started? To what do you attribute your early success and then later your multi-national success? Have you filmed a procedure that happened to you?

VideoCT21 karma

Right after college I got an entry level job as a production assistant, duplicating tapes and going on video shoots mainly to observe, and eventually being the lead person. In those days nearly all surgery was open and it was very eye opening!

Success in a job is what you make of it. Hard work, perseverance and being interested in the subject matter. Now, while not qualified to do surgery, I have a pretty good knowledge base in a lot of areas which helps me help my customers.

Luckily the only medical procedures I have had are having my wisdom teeth out and I was fast asleep for that!

whyareyousuccessful5 karma

Thanks! Congrats on the continued success! Filming having your own wisdom teeth pulled out would be tough. I slept through mine as well...

VideoCT11 karma

Suppose I could have mounted a GoPro on the doctor's head, though head mounted surgery video can be very shaky and not always in focus

doctechnical21 karma

What does it smell like when someone gets cut open?

VideoCT35 karma

cutting someone open does not produce any particular smells. The use of electrosurgical energy (ie, electrocautery) does create some smoke from the dessication of tissue, and it can smell, and be difficult to get used to.

jws_shadotak17 karma

I've heard humans smell similar to pork/pigs when cooked or burnt. Is this something you've noticed?

VideoCT23 karma

I would characterize the smell as burning meat but not identifiable, and not pleasant. Smoke evacuation is recommended.

angelust21 karma

It smells like burnt hair to me. Pretty nasty. Does not smell like delicious BBQ unfortunately.

KillAllTheThings20 karma

Actually, I think it is pretty damn handy people do not smell like delicious BBQ when cooked. Cannabilism is far too rampant as it is.

VideoCT29 karma

I usually hit the salad bar when I eat at a hospital

FreyjaSunshine24 karma

Blood has a smell if enough of it gets out. So does amniotic fluid in C-sections.

The smell of burning flesh that is cauterized is pretty noxious. Abscesses or other bad infections can stink up the place pretty bad.

Dead bowel is the worst. The whole damn surgical suite will stink. We put peppermint or wintergreen oil in our masks for those cases.

VideoCT19 karma

in Silence of the Lambs Clarice Starling used Vapo Rub, which I have used in cadaver labs also

Grotas19 karma

Did you notice a significant difference between Canada and the US as per their medical advancements and technological advancement?

VideoCT37 karma

Not really. A modern OR is pretty universal in Western countries at least.

Merytz17 karma

Has there ever been anything that you've shot, that you just wanted to delete and never share with anyone?

VideoCT15 karma

Yes but I'd rather not get specific.

bleedscarlet17 karma

What happens when things go wrong? Like, what are the reactions like? I assume you are to keep recording because it's a learning experience, as cold as that may sound, but does the atmosphere of the room change?

FreyjaSunshine31 karma

When things aren't going well, it tends to get more quiet in the room - music goes off, chatter stops.

The surgeon's personality has a lot to do with it, as well. Some curse a lot, some yell, some are calm but serious.

If things aren't going well on my side of the drapes (anesthesia), we inform the surgeon and see if he/she can do anything to mitigate the problem, and we may get another anesthesiologist or a tech into the room if that's possible. Sometimes it just takes more hands than we have if there's massive blood loss or a very unstable patient.

If a patient codes, it's pretty hectic, with lots of people in the room, crash cart, etc. That's very rare, though.

VideoCT20 karma

Thanks for contributing to this AMA. Always good to have an actual medical provider answer questions like these. I am mostly an observer!

VideoCT23 karma

I have not seen anything go terribly wrong. There are sometimes technical issues, like the medical scope goes blurry or a piece of equipment stops working. Hospitals have lots of spare equipment and very often a sales rep is in the building and able to help troubleshoot. On one occasion a patient went into cardiac arrest, and I was asked to leave and take my camera with me. Another time the power in the whole hospital went out mid-surgery, but came back on after about a minute. As far as medical errors, I have never seen one.

GreenJellyBean8915 karma

Surgery is a big deal in a patients life, so what you witness can be heavy. Especially if you've witnessed trauma or crisis situations. Do you carry those events with you, or are you able to easily leave your work on the film? What strategies do you use to separate work, and home life?

VideoCT20 karma

What affected me the most was a series of cadaver dissections that i filmed. This was over 10 years ago and i can still visualize the faces. This was in an anatomy lab at a university, and the cadavers were used to demonstrate neck anatomy. Obviously there is no bleeding, but the smell is unnerving the first time, and the texture and sounds are different than surgery on a living person. Very dramatic experience. My wife was an MRI tech when we first met, so we share a love of all things medical. However my wife likes to watch medical shows on tv, I try to leave that at work!

JacobPGalvetron15 karma

Hi, Current undergrad hoping to go to medical school. I was wondering if You had any suggestions of website for viewing videos of surgical procedures? Or how one would go about possibly viewing a live surgery. Thanks much .^

VideoCT21 karma

This is a good one

Syreno12 karma

Have you ever dropped your filming equipment into a patient?

VideoCT18 karma

This is the most popular question I get, aside from Junior Mint references. Thankfully no. We secure the camera to its tripod mount, sometimes with gaffer tape or a wire safety chain, and I am never more than a few feet away, and try to stand with my hands on or near the camera.

itim__office11 karma

Do you have to blur (censor) certain body parts (like, breasts, etc.)?

VideoCT13 karma

Sure. You only show what is relevant. Faces should never be shown (patient privacy is a huge concern (and not just faces, but anything personally identifiable)), and anything not related to the surgery, and private areas. If the surgery is taking place in one of these private areas then we just do our best to maintain the patient's privacy or modesty.

iCrackMyselfUp6911 karma

Are you required to obtain a release from the patient, even though you're blurring there face?

VideoCT9 karma

depends upon the hospital's policy, but patients do need to give consent for filming

LowTower10 karma

Hello sir,

I'm a freelance videographer and a full-time legal videographer. This sounds like something I would really be interested in doing, how does one begin to pursue this career?


VideoCT10 karma

Do you live near a teaching hospital? I'd start there. A lot of docs are making their own videos nowadays, using iMovie and the video that gets recorded in the OR, but they may need help with a project occasionally.

LowTower6 karma

I do in fact. Should I just waltz in and start asking questions? Also, could you give me an idea of what sort of salary could be expected? Filming attorneys scream at each other is plenty entertaining, but I'd like to switch it up and this sounds pretty neat.

VideoCT10 karma

A surgeon might be hesitant to let someone with no experience even enter an OR let alone get close to the patient. Do you know anyone in the medical field? Might be a good idea to try and get some experience, even pro bono.

Orromog8 karma

Why do you do it? Is it a hobby or a career?

Any bad/creepy stories?

VideoCT18 karma

It is part of my job, among other duties. Nothing bad or creepy, but the first time I was ever in an operating room it was quite an eye opening experience. What I mean is there is a lot going on besides just the surgery itself. Lots of machines and technology, and in some cases like heart surgery there can be 10 or more people in the room. Lots of visual stimulus.

middlemanmark8 karma

Do you think it's maybe possible you'll be out of a job soon, with all the new wearable tech that's on it's way in such as google glass, or do you think you're going to be safe?

I remember reading this a few months ago (forgive the Daily Mail) which I found rather interesting:

VideoCT11 karma

Yes I read that article and others like it. Google glass seems to have some potential to help with education. Filming the operation is like 10% of a project. You still need to edit and assemble the rest of the educational program or whatever the final product may be. Technology is bound to change.

middlemanmark3 karma

Ah, I understand. Thanks for the reply.

Sorry if this has been asked already but what is the primary purpose for your filming? Is it mainly education purposes?

VideoCT7 karma

Yes education. While surgeons learn the fundamental skills of surgery, and perform hundreds of procedures as residents, videos are a great way to see innovations or refinements to procedures (ie, laparoscopic versions of open surgery, how to deal with complications, using a new device)

nameless_faceless7 karma

I'm a veterinarian and do surgery almost daily, and it never fails that I don't flip fluids around. Have you ever been splattered by an artery or a popped abscess or a necrotic tumor?

VideoCT10 karma

Luckily I wear glasses, and always a mask and scrubs. But yeah, there have been a few fluid incidents. With laparoscopy there is less of a chance than there used to be. But I can recall at least three times blood spraying on pretty much everyone. And other fluids do seem to have a mind of their own - saline. And always wear shoe covers in the OR as fluids tend to drip down the drape (which is waterproof) so if a lot of fluids are being used it can get messy. And along those lines, i try to put on a pair of non sterile gloves when coiling up cables at the end of a case.

commercial_photograp6 karma

What gear do you commonly use to mount your cameras?

Your proof photo is c-stand, boom, and one of those clamps I really want, correct?

What are the common angles you film at? What are the more difficult angles?

VideoCT6 karma

Depends upon the setting. The proof photo is a few years old and is a Sony HDV camera on a customized kit of Avenger and Manfrotto components, which folds down into a golf club case for transport.

To get up and overhead we need this contraption. For other stuff we shoot on regular sticks and use either XDCAM, P2, Canon or a combination. I shoot with a DSLR for b-roll and the odd interview, but generally use a camcorder which has better audio and ease of use. Difficult angles are when it is open surgery and the surgeon is working deep in the pelvis, sometimes by touch. Or when there are 5 people all trying to see what is happening.

ChrisDornerLAPD6 karma


VideoCT15 karma

Warning - contents of this link may be Not Safe For Lunch

sackle_d6 karma

What was the craziest/coolest/most interesting surgery you filmed?

VideoCT9 karma

I describe some cool ones earlier in this AMA. But since you asked...

Sentinel Node breast surgery is pretty fascinating. In the old days (pre-1998) when a woman had to have a breast tumor removed, it involved a complete lynph node dissection, leading to lymphadema. But the sentinel node procedure is now the standard method. A radioactive material (technisium sulfur colloid) is injected into the lymphatic system, and a gamma probe (like a geiger counter) detects the lymph nodes which contain cancer cells. These nodes are removed, leaving ones not detected behind, reducing the post-op side effects of the surgery.

Here's a better explanation:

Anyway, I used to assist with live cases, transmitted to a conference center attached to a hospital. We had one person in the OR and one person in the conference center switching the cameras.

Over 6 months I saw about 50 of these operations, and edited a lot of these cases into 150-minute educational videos. This was really the ultimate use of new technology to save lives.

dchris46 karma

Have you ever seen a surgeon make a take to camera?

VideoCT6 karma

can you clarify what you mean?

dchris47 karma

While you're filming has a surgeon ever just looked at the camera candidly? Like you see in the Office

VideoCT5 karma


KillAllTheThings5 karma

Has the market for your finished work been reduced since TLC stopped being The Learning Channel and became another "reality" show horror outlet?

VideoCT9 karma

Our work is sold to doctors, nurses, hospital and the medical device industry. We have never worked in infotainment.

KillAllTheThings4 karma

Is there any way for people not in healthcare to view surgical procedures these days? My mother has recently gone through having both hips & both knees replaced and it's helped me a lot to have seen what is done (now that I too am getting to the age where various parts are failing and may need replacement). Having the surgeon describe (with words) what he's going to do is not the same thing as having seen it.

VideoCT7 karma

there is plenty of surgery video on the web - just google it The stuff I work on is mainly geared towards educating other surgeons, and probably too technical for patients. Though patients having elective surgery (joints, bariatric, cosmetic) tend to be very well-informed and very interested in seeing what they are going to be having done.

moondusterone5 karma

Do you get any movie ideas?

VideoCT10 karma

You mean for mainstream movies? Sure I have notebooks full. Or do you mean movie ideas based upon medical procedures I have seen? Sort of, though a lot of surgery is pretty routine.

throwawaygyno15 karma

What is the worst thing you've filmed so far?

VideoCT16 karma

A wedding! LOL.

Early in my career things were more shocking. Now I am so fascinated by the subject matter so I am not sure I could qualify something as "the worst."

throwawaygyno15 karma

Well, that's terrible, but also understandable of you. So now I want to know, why/how was that wedding you filmed so terrible?

VideoCT11 karma

That was a joke - I like weddings especially ones with prime rib!

eagreeyes4 karma

Why would a surgery need to be recorded? How common is it?

VideoCT7 karma

See reply a few posts back. Mainly for teaching.

spartian9954 karma

Do you feel that there is an operation you could complete because of seeing it done so many times/it seemed pretty straight forward?

VideoCT17 karma

I used to think I could, but there is a big difference between watching and doing, if you don't have the proper training. It is not so much the routine steps of the operation that are the problem. It is being ready to manage unexpected bleeding or physiological issues which may arise. That is when the advanced knowledge and training really comes into play. I'm pretty good at carving a roast chicken and sewing buttons, however.

SilentlyCrying4 karma

Having recorded and witnessed hundreds of procedures are you more afraid of less afraid of having to have surgery?

VideoCT10 karma

If I ever do need surgery I intend to call someone i know!

Tommyboy4204 karma

Anyone ever wake up mid surgery?

VideoCT5 karma

not in my experience

VideoCT4 karma

I'm hitting the sack, but keep the questions coming - I'll answer more in the AM. Thanks to everyone who participated.

christophermcne3 karma

What was the nastiest procedure you ever filmed, and why was it nasty?

VideoCT7 karma

Someone further down asked about gore. Since this is my career and a subject I am very interested in, I would not call anything nasty. There are some procedures that would probably not be suitable for the general public due to a lot of blood.

grimrencher3 karma

Generally who are you being hired by to film surgeries? Are the videos made for public or private use usually?

VideoCT5 karma

Medical societies, medical device companies or individual surgeons. The videos are often shown at national medical meetings, courses or posted to streaming video websites.

Digitaldark3 karma

What type of education is required for this line of work?

VideoCT6 karma

Any video production requires some experience, whether formal education or on the job. I do a lot besides film surgery, so my college education and internships prepared me for a lot of the basics of video plus communication skills, organization, thinking on my feet, interacting with people in a professional manner. Though on the job experience and training, and simply growing professionally over the years is a big part of it. As for the medical knowledge, which is one thing a lot of people ask about, it has been learning by seeing. I have been lucky to work with some doctors and nurses who have been very willing to explain complex information.

MorphineBear3 karma

How "bad" can the surgeries cover in terms of safety? Do you record people who are getting a simple surgery of the mouth and surgeries of people who are on the verge of death? More or less, what's the worst thing you've recorded?

VideoCT9 karma

It can run the gamut from elective cosmetic surgery to life or death cancer surgery. Not sure I can discuss safety as there are a lot of factors which I am not qualified to discuss.

AnonBeta3 karma

What made you interested in what you're doing now?

VideoCT3 karma

I sort of fell into the field. When I was about to graduate from college, i sent out a lot of resumes in New England, mostly to tv stations and some production companies. Luckily my company had an entry level job. I did not have any interest in medicine at first, but it grew on me.

DrinkingCherryShots3 karma

Any tips for someone that would like to pursue a similar career? What is the job title/listing I should be searching for?

I enjoy videography + medicine + education. Seems like something I would like to get into.

VideoCT7 karma

It is not too common of a job. Some larger teaching hospitals (ie a medical school affiliated hospital) have media departments. These departments tend to do a lot of different things, including video, helping people with Powerpoints or publishing tasks, documenting lectures and sometimes doing IT type activities.

ScousePete2 karma

Have you ever finished recording only to find you forgot to load the film/memory card?

VideoCT5 karma

When shooting on tape, it is pretty obvious if the camera is not recording, though those little red buttons are sensitive to a light touch. With flash memory recording, a bigger problem is running out of space. Usually I have my laptop setup so I can be backing up cards as I shoot.

Schwannson1 karma

Is it possible for me to go view a live surgery like in Seinfeld? I'd definitely be interested in going to one.

FreyjaSunshine3 karma

Nope. Surgery is not a spectator sport. There are not viewing areas like in the movies, and space is usually limited. There are sterility, medicolegal and patient privacy concerns.

Having additional bodies in the OR is a distraction, and that's not usually a good thing for the patient.

VideoCT2 karma

excellent point.

VideoCT1 karma

Not too easy if you are not in medical school, residency program or you work in another field like nursing or anesthesia. The observation gallery depicted in Seinfeld and Gray's Anatomy is really only seen in old hospitals in big cities. I have only seen such a gallery twice, and it was used for storage. Now that a lot of surgery is done with a scope, you would not see much from up there anyway. But lots of people know someone who knows someone who works in a hospital. Ask around, you never know.

santacruzer71 karma

What does that pay and what equipment do you use?

VideoCT2 karma

Digital video - we use what is appropriate for the situation. Smaller cameras when suspending camera over a sterile field, larger cameras for narrative, instructional or interviews. I like XDCAM EX, though a lot of devices now record ProRes. The Canon C300 takes really nice video. I am interested in the new 4K mirrorless cameras like the G4

Anon-sama1 karma

Any tips for squeamish people?

VideoCT1 karma

Don't go into an OR on an empty stomach.

BillERubin1 karma

How do I get your job? I'd love doing that.

VideoCT2 karma

my job is occupied! Are you working in some aspect of media production now?

thedanks1 karma

Do you work in Woodbury CT?

VideoCT2 karma

How's Denver?

xnuo1 karma

What had been the most spectacular procedure you have had the opportunities to attend to and film?

VideoCT2 karma

There are many. Anything that involves removing something such as a tumor and then reconstructing, say the bowel into a functioning organ, is pretty amazing.

Heart and Lung surgeries are equally amazing.

WilliamGoat-12 karma

How does it feel to coast off the accomplishments of others?

VideoCT5 karma

Not sure what you are getting at.