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Local surgeon shares surgery pointers with Shaker High students

Updated: 06/04/2014 6:48 PM
Created: 06/04/2014 4:47 PM WNYT.com
By: Benita Zahn

The advanced placement biology class at Shaker High was anything but routine, on Wednesday.

Thanks to technology,  the students watched knee surgery in real time.

It's the fifth year the school has collaborated with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Max Alley of the Bone and Joint Center. 

"This young lady has injured her leg on a trampoline," explains orthopedic surgeon Dr. Max Alley from the Bone and Joint Center - as he begins repairing the torn ligament in a patient's knee in front of a special audience. Kathy Hoffman's biology class at Shaker High School is watching via closed circuit TV. It's the fifth year for this collaboration.

"It's been a really great opportunity for the students," says Hoffman. "Because most of the students want to go into the medical field or into a field of biology or some sort and this helps them make a connection between what we've learned in class this year in biology and the actual, real thing."

"He explains to us what's happening while he does it which is a really cool opportunity," says student Michela Schillinger. "It's really interesting to be able to learn that way. It's different from us watching a video because it's happening in real time and you can have a real conversation while it's happening."

During the class, students ask an array of questions.

Along with the surgery, Dr. Alley weaves in messages of safety he hopes will resonate with them like warning about texting and driving.

"I try and bring it home that it's one instant in your life that you can't get back," he notes. "It is shocking to see the injuries that can occur from a split second of distraction or poor judgment."

Dr. Alley enjoys this project because he knows he may be igniting a spark in these students.

"I like getting the kids in there, showing them stuff and realizing that they can do whatever they want if they set their mind to it and have a plan."

While this program is held once a year, Dr. Alley and other surgeons at the Bone and Joint Center routinely do something similar with RPI students.

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