Medical Club hosts speakers and interactive activities in inaugural Evening of Medicine


Irene Y

Dr. Lawrence Fung speaks during a panel at the Evening of Medicine event hosted by the upper school Medical Club last Friday. The panel Q&A consisted of three Stanford doctors: Dr. Lawrence Fung, a psychiatrist; Dr. Zachary Vaughn, an orthopedic surgeon; and Dr. Lisa Zaba, a dermatologist.

by Amruta Dharmapurikar and Brian Chen

The upper school’s Medical Club held the first-ever Evening of Medicine last Friday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the Nichols Auditorium, featuring a variety of medical professionals as speakers and engaging activities for attendees to immerse themselves in medicine for an evening. 

One of the invited doctors was keynote speaker and Harker parent Dr. Prasad Kilaru, a Chief of Surgery at the Washington Hospital in Fremont, who spoke about his work as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Dr. Kilaru talked about the advantages of reconstructive surgery based on the large range of injuries it can remedy, and he also debunked the common misconception that plastic surgery is only for altering appearance. 

“Cosmetic surgery is less than 10 percent of what I do,” he said.

Alex Zhang (10), one of the many students that attended Dr. Kilaru’s speech, enjoyed learning about real-world uses of plastic surgery beyond the common perception of its sole connection to cosmetics. 

“Dr. Kilaru showed us the practical applications of plastic surgery on trauma victims, such as severed limbs, instead of cosmetic surgery,” Alex said. 

The presentation was also eye-opening to Elvis Han (10) as an exploration of the diverse uses for plastic surgery. Elvis specifically remembered the pictures Dr. Kilaru showed to exemplify different procedures. 

“I was always curious about how it could help outside of the cosmetic industry, and hearing his speech was very enlightening,” Elvis said.“It was also the first medical presentation that provided actual photos of the procedures [and] surgery incisions.” 

Although being a doctor often comes with a stable income, Dr. Kilaru emphasizes in his presentation that money should not be a driving factor in deciding professions. Rather, he believes that “you have to love what you do” to be successful and joked that a cobbler who enjoys his job could be better at sewing than a poorly trained surgeon. 

After the keynote presentation came a brief workshop session. Students discussed ethics in medicine through a four corners game, in which they expressed and discussed various degrees of agreement and disagreement regarding questions on medical ethics. They also learned about dermatoscopes through a hands-on activity and played a medical trivia Kahoot!. 

Finally, a panel consisting of Stanford doctors Lawrence Fung, Zachary Vaughn and Lisa Zaba answered questions from the audience regarding their professions and careers. The topics discussed ranged from how to balance a family amid the commitments of residency and practice to the differences between academia and working at companies. 

 “I think [the Evening of Medicine] was a great idea, and there was a decent amount of turnout. I think it’s definitely worth doing again,” Mihir Dixit (12), an officer of the Medical Club, said.