FORT WORTH – Medical students from the Anne Burnett School of Medicine at Texas Christian University were able to observe and learn from physicians at Cook Children’s Medical Center during a rare medical surgery involving conjoined twins.
Burnett School of Medicine at TCU alumni Mei Mei Edwards, M.D. ‘23, and Meaghan Rousset, M.D. ‘23, saw the twins successfully separated after they had been joined at the abdomen during birth. The twins were omphalopagus, which means they were joined at the abdomen and shared one or more internal organs. The twins shared a liver in this case.
“This was definitely such a great experience to see such a novel surgery,” Dr. Edwards said.
In late January 2023, sisters JamieLynn and AmieLynn Finley, of Saginaw, Texas, who were 16 weeks old at the time, underwent surgery becoming the first conjoined twins to be separated at Cook Children’s. The incidence of conjoined twins is one per 50,000 to 200,000 births, according to National Institutes of Health.
Following the surgery, Rousset was able to work with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) team at Cook Children’s as the twin girls began their road to recovery.
“We saw the babies in the morning, saw how they were progressing and talked about different things we needed to work on to make sure they moved forward,” Dr. Rousset said.
As MS-4s at Burnett School of Medicine, Dr. Edwards and Dr. Roussett, were able to watch the successful 11-hour procedure during the “Focus” stage (Phase 3) of our Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) curriculum. In their fourth year, medical students get to choose 28 weeks of electives of their choice to gain valuable clinical experience, explore career interests and prepare for the residency match process.
“At that point, they’ve selected which specialty they are most interested in,” said Jo Anna Leuck, M.D., Associate Dean of Educational Affairs at Burnett School of Medicine. “How lucky are we to be in this Fort Worth medical community, to be partners with Cook and for our students to really get to a part of just truly a miraculous team that made this happen.”