Craniofacial Clinic

cropped-icon1.jpg OK! So, after a full week in the Biomedical Visualization program, I am starting to realize the sheer VOLUME of information and opportunities the program has to offer...which is far too much for a two-year program. Every semester, more and more specific classes are available. Animation, clinical anaplastology, neuroanatomy, surgical illustration, video game design and development, virtual reality and stereography, haptics and augmented reality, hamburger anatomy (delicious), 3D modeling, 4D, FIVE D! - The list goes on. More skills. More information. A man could go insane thinking about all the possibilities. What a horrible predicament to be in - having too many resources available. It's a frightening prospect.

Today I started volunteering at the Craniofacial Clinic, where a team of skilled pros work tirelessly to create cranial and maxillary prosthetic apparaus (eyes, ears, noses and teeth) for patients in an effort to aid them in living their lives as if there had been no injury at all. The skill and attention to detail that these clinicians have at their fingertips is one of the most impressive things I’ve ever witnessed. Reconstructing eyeballs and building life-like prosthetics from molds and silicone – It was incredible. They are dedicated to their craft and it shows in their work.

After speaking to someone who was working on an armature for an ear, I was excited to see tools and equipment familiar to me: soldering torches, foredom tools, investment… Equipment for silversmithing, jewelry making, and lost wax casting. He outlined what he was doing step-by-step in order to make an armature that will eventually be implanted into bone for a prosthesis to be attached. Soldering together a gold armature and fabricating clips for attachments - this is all familiar territory! Just in a different form than I’m used to (making spring-loaded baubels out of copper ).

Anyway, I will be volunteering for the duration of the semester as a trial run through the clinic for the following semester when I’ll be able to take courses in anaplastology (oh, the possibilities!). I heard a rumor that next week I’ll be a guinea pig for the other anaplastology students who need to make facial molds. IT HAS BEGUN.

-Ali