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Reconstructive Surgery

One-Week Summer Medicine Program

BioSTEM Award, 2018, J&J • Top Summer Science Program, 2011-2019, NY Times/ • Top Robotics Program, 2017, RoboLoco • Best Medicine Program, 2018, ParentMap • Top Biomedical Engineering, •
Top 101 Summer Camps & Programs, • Top Biomedical Engineering, 2017,

Whether you’re looking for a one-week follow-up to Introduction to Surgery or a stand-alone program, Reconstructive Surgery is for every student. For those looking to continue their surgical education following Introduction to Surgery, this is the perfect option. Tap Van Geel, who holds an MD, will cover topics that students who took Intro to Surgery haven’t already seen. However, for students who have not yet taken a surgical program, this material is still introductory and doesn’t require a prerequisite course.

Would you like to give someone a second chance at a normal life? This is what plastic and reconstructive surgeons do every day. From infants born with a cleft palate and lip, to survivors of car accidents suffering severe craniofacial trauma, to burn victims with disfiguring scars, reconstructive surgeons make the transformations that can allow individuals to carry on with everyday life. Reconstructive surgeons find themselves at the interface of other surgical specialties. They may address disfigurements left by cancer treatment or reduce scars left by surgical procedures. Appearance augmentation procedures such as liposuction, face lifts, and body contouring also fall under the purview of cosmetic surgeons.

This one-week summer program is designed for teens interested in pre-med.

Students do a mock-surgery in the Reconstructive Surgery three-week medical program


June 27th – July 1st, 2022 | Dana Hall, Wellesley 

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Student prepares for an experiment in the Reconstructive Surgery three-week summer medical program
This program will focus on reconstructive surgery, which is defined as plastic surgery that is medically indicated and needed to improve dysfunctional body parts. Students will spend hours in the lab practicing their surgical knot tying skills, completing dissections on synthetic tissue, and studying human anatomy at a level beyond high school science. They will study situational needs for reconstructive surgery, such as post-cancer corrective procedures as the final round of treatment, microsurgery to connect detached limbs, and the most effective methods for closing an open wound. They will also study the increasing popularity of specialized burn centers, which regenerate a patient’s skin following second or third degree burns. 
Reconstructive surgeons must also work with fellow specialists to provide the best care possible. They may develop skin flaps following an invasive surgery, correct complications during procedures such as C-sections, or travel with humanitarians and programs such as Doctors Without Borders to developing countries to correct patient deformities. Students will dive into the various ways a career in reconstructive surgery would allow them to contribute to the medical community.

Field Trips

In 2019, students visited the critically-acclaimed Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Science. The theme of the Body Worlds exhibitions changes every few years. 

Museum of Science
Teacher Tap Van Geel poses in front of MIT with students

Tap Van Geel

Tap Van Geel earned his MD from SUNY Upstate Medical School. Tap currently teaches at top-ranked Wellesley High School and has co-taught Biomedical & Surgical Research for many years.

Student Comments

“This program we expanded on our knowledge of anatomy, physiology, vocabulary, and surgical procedures. I enjoyed the curriculum and never found myself bored.”
“This year was amazing! I loved the dissections and activities in the lab!”
“I like how we did a lot of dissecting. It wasn’t just sitting in a room and learning about surgery, it was hands-on which made the class more interesting.”
“We learned a lot in the classroom and then we were able to put that knowledge into a lab which I really enjoyed doing.”
Students do an experiment in the Reconstructive Surgery three-week summer medical program

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