Ameen Amanian

Application of Artificial Intelligence in the Surgical Management of Head and Neck Cancer
Dr. Francis Creighton, Dr. Andrew Thamboo, Dr. Masaru Ishii, Dr. Russell Taylor, Dr. Eitan Prisman
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

Two words: Surgical Innovation. With the increasing applications of technology in head and neck surgery, I want to further develop my technical skills to innovate new healthcare solutions. Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform surgical care, improve surgical outcomes, and culminate in the practice of preventative medicine. The Master of Science and Engineering - AI in Medicine at Johns Hopkins University will help me reach my goal of becoming a surgeon-innovator.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I am currently completing the UBC Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery residency program, one of the strongest programs in the country both from a surgical training and research production perspective. In medical school, I was drawn to Head and Neck Surgery as I realized my passion for technology could also be integrated into the specialty as evident by current technological applications ranging from virtual pre-operative planning for complex craniofacial reconstruction to transoral robotic surgery for operating in difficult to access areas within the head and neck. Plus our residency group is very collegial and I have made life long friends as a result.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I am particularly looking forward to engaging with AI scientists and engineers to explore solutions to problems faced in surgical care. I’m also excited to train at Johns Hopkins University, a world-renowned institution that recruits a multidisciplinary group of individuals to foster innovation and continued collaboration.

What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

The ability to incorporate AI-focused solutions into the clinical setting is a challenge that I will face throughout my career. However, as a resident physician at the forefront of healthcare and with my upcoming experience at Johns Hopkins University, my ability to see clinical problems first, consider potential technical designs, and then directly engage with engineers and AI scientists would present a unique opportunity to deliver novel and innovative healthcare solutions.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

First, my engineering undergraduate degree taught me to think critically. Second, throughout my clinical encounters in medical school and now residency, I have learned to consciously identify healthcare problems and consider methods to design targeted solutions.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I love exploring the beautiful road cycling routes in Vancouver and running around the seawall. As for relaxation, I decompress with family and friends and training my dog.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

I would advise new students to be open, collaborative, and immerse yourself in groups of people with different skills and interests. Focus on personal growth as it will ultimately help your career growth.


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