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TAHS Students Shadow UPMC Surgeon Dr. Matthew Newlin

Students from the health tech classes went to UPMC Altoona to observe the TAHS alum perform several surgeries.

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TAHS Students Shadow UPMC Surgeon Dr. Matthew Newlin

Lexi Kramer and Lauren Ross dressed and ready to observe surgery with Dr. Newlin.

Lexi Kramer and Lauren Ross dressed and ready to observe surgery with Dr. Newlin.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Ross

Lexi Kramer and Lauren Ross dressed and ready to observe surgery with Dr. Newlin.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Ross

Photo courtesy of Lauren Ross

Lexi Kramer and Lauren Ross dressed and ready to observe surgery with Dr. Newlin.

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Tyrone High School students interested in heath related careers recently had the opportunity to spend a day shadowing UPMC general surgeon and Tyrone High School graduate Dr. Matthew Newlin.

“Dr. Newlin was one of our Distinguished Alumni Award winners in 2018. He came to our classes and talked to the students about shadowing,” said health tech teacher Christie Taylor. “They get a true picture of the day in the life of a surgeon.”

I thought it was super cool how arthroscopic surgery works. The fact that they only needed to make two small incisions to work on the patient was pretty amazing.”

— Junior Lexi Kramer

The surgeries that the students observed all occurred at UPMC Altoona.

The students involved got the full operating room experience. They wore scrubs, got to sit in on consults with patients, and observed surgeries.

Junior Lexi Kramer got to see a gall bladder removal surgery.

“I thought it was super cool how arthroscopic surgery works. The fact that they only needed to make two small incisions to work on the patient was pretty amazing,” said Kramer. “Dr. Newlin was also very inviting and eager to help us learn.”

In some instances, students even got to be hands-on with a removed specimen. For example, during the gall bladder surgery, the students had the opportunity to handle the removed gall bladder and cut it open to see the gall stones inside.

Other surgeries that students got to see were other laparoscopic surgeries, a lymph node removal, and a hysterectomy.

“Every student who has taken the opportunity to shadow Dr. Newlin comes back to school very excited to share with me their experience and what they got to observe during their time at the hospital, even if some of it may have grossed them out,” said microbiology and anatomy teacher Ms. Danielle Shick.

In addition to seeing Dr. Newlin at work, students were able to observe nurses, physician’s assistants, anesthesiologists, and many other professions. Seeing not only a surgeon’s job, but also other medical professionals responsibilities can help students to determine what career they may want to pursue in the future.

I’m extremely happy I took this opportunity. I want to work in the O.R., so this was an eye-opener. I wish I could go every day so I could see more surgeries.”

— Senior Olivia Watson

“I enjoyed learning new things about the human body. I also enjoyed the hands-on experience when he let us dissect the gall bladder, touch the lymph nodes from the armpit, and inspect a cancerous uterus from a hysterectomy,” said senior Brooke Welsh.

Some of the students still have no idea what they want to do after they graduate, others may have an idea of what they want to do, but may not be sure if that is the right decision for them. Shadowing is a great opportunity for them to determine if a career path might be right for them.

“I’m extremely happy I took this opportunity. I want to work in the O.R., so this was an eye-opener. I wish I could go every day so I could see more surgeries,” said senior Olivia Watson.

Some of the students that got the chance to experience this opportunity were Julian Cempa, Meghan McMullen, Aaryanna Wright, Levi Blazer, Lexi Kramer, Lauren Ross, Natalie Berrena-Barr, Logan Johnston, Ava McCracken, Reilly Ronan, Brooke Welsh, and Olivia Watson.

Dr. Newlin

Levi Walk
Dr. Newlin at Tyrone Area High School in 2017 speaking to students about his career.

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About the Writer
Ava McCracken, Staff Writer

Hi! My name is Ava McCracken. I am a senior this year and this is my third year in Eagle Eye. I’m number two on the tennis team, so I plan on writing...

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TAHS Students Shadow UPMC Surgeon Dr. Matthew Newlin