After graduating from Castleton in 1991, Biology alumni Dr. Adam Kramer had aspirations of becoming a physician, utilizing his science degree to further help those in need. Going on to attend Des Moines University of Osteopathic Medicine in Iowa, and complete an internship and residency in General Surgery in Ohio, Dr. Kramer joined Advanced Surgical Associates, a general surgery practice in Kansas City, Missouri where he has operated since 2000.
“When I attended Castleton there were no other students in my graduating class that were going on to medical school,” explained Kramer, who also served as a student athletic trainer during his time on campus. “My advisors and instructors there were amazing and encouraged us to strive for our goals.”
As an accomplished general surgeon, Dr. Kramer can be found performing a variety of surgical procedures on a daily basis, including appendectomies, gallbladder removals, hernia repairs, and stomach surgeries. His work also includes removing an assortment of skin lesions and cancers.
“One day is never the same as the next. Each patient and procedure is different,” he said.
In 2011, after helping to start a multi-disciplinary center for the treatment of breast cancer, Dr. Kramer used the power of technology to take his career to the next level, starting his robotic assisted surgery career using the DaVinci Robot. The non-autonomous robot works similarly to a surgical instrument, and is controlled by a surgeon in real time from a console within the same room as the patient.
“It was a fairly new technology and I felt that it would aid in performing more challenging procedures and would allow my patients to recover and return to their normal activities faster,” said Kramer. “I started performing robotics first because it was an interesting new technology and it differentiated me from other surgeons in my area, but over the years I have found that it not only benefits my patients but because of the better ergonomics it could extend my career and allow me to do longer, more complex surgeries.”
Throughout his time as a robotics surgeon Dr. Kramer has become increasingly proficient at performing various procedures and currently proctors and instructs other surgeons from around the country on the necessary skills of robotic surgery. Dr. Kramer added that in the world of medicine, using robotics is not only efficient, but often decreases the costs of surgical procedures.
“Over the years I have operated on many people but the ones that stand out are cancer patients,” said Kramer. “I get to follow those patients for years, I see them from the time of their diagnosis through surgical treatment, chemotherapy and recovery. It's amazing to see how tough people are and what they can endure.”