Students Get Hands-On Surgery Experience

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(KARK) Hundreds of Cabot High School’s Medical Academy students took a break from learning out of a textbook to see through the eyes of orthopedic surgeons Friday.

Midsouth Orthopedics brought in Ortho Arkansas surgeon Dr. Joel Smith to perform a live surgery on a cadaver’s shoulder.

“We’ll take a look around the shoulder and fix a couple different things,” said Dr. Smith as he started the surgery on stage. “We’re gonna do what’s called a knotless repair today. We really have a better way of fixing things these days.”

In less than an hour, the sophomores, juniors and seniors watched Dr. Smith repair a dislocated shoulder, giving them an opportunity to decide whether this is for them.

Students like senior Andre Scott are hooked.

“Honestly, when I started watching Grey’s Anatomy, it just made me really love surgery,” he said. “Then I had opportunities like this, which made me love it even more.”

Scott wants to be a cardiothoracic surgeon and after the live surgery, he and his 20 Medical Honors classmates got to put their knowledge to the test. They had the opportunity to inspect Dr. Smith’s work on the shoulder, along with several other hands-on experiences with two cadaver arms.

“The way our bodies function, some people find that weird or blood grosses them out,” said senior Courtney Rogers. “But I think it’s just an amazing thing. The body is amazing.”

Rogers wants to be a neonatal nurse practitioner.

“Helping people and saving lives, things like that, would be something that I just enjoy,” she said.

For the past 15 years, the Medical Academy has helped Rogers, Scott and many others decide their futures before graduation.

When they go on to college, medical school and beyond, they hope many after have the same chance.

“This is just an amazing opportunity for anyone,” Rogers said. “I’m so grateful our school offers it.”

“I’m also happy people donate their shoulders and other body parts to this so we’re able to learn,” said Scott.

For some of these students, this was their second once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The same team performed a live ACL surgery on a knee last year.

The academy offers tracks in therapeutic services, sports medicine or both.

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