Unique Opportunity for Marietta High School Students

Posted 2016-12-02 by MCF

While the thought of cutting a body open and seeing what’s inside only induces cringes for most, a class full of future medical professionals at Marietta High School greeted the opportunity with avid enthusiasm. 

The 44 students enrolled in the school’s Anatomy & Physiology course were able to witness an actual autopsy through a narrated video conference.

Provided by COSI, the videotape of an actual autopsy is accompanied by live narration by a pathologist resident from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Participants must work through the "case" and solve for cause of death. The 90-minute autopsy is shown from the external examination and Y-incision to the removal of and dissection of individual organs, including the brain.

The offering of an Anatomy & Physiology course within high school is unusual itself, so being able to take part in the autopsy activity is yet another way the participating students are getting great experience and preparation for their pursuit of health careers.

“Since a lot of the students who are in my class are interested in the medical profession I thought it would be helpful to give them an opportunity to see some options of experiences that they may encounter later in the career field,” Vickie Hall, the class’s teacher, said.

When the Marietta Community Foundation heard about the program, it approached one of its fund’s executors. The donor that was approached was Mary Anton, who is a nurse herself.

“It’s right up my alley,” Anton said, in regards to the autopsy program.  ”In our area, there are plenty of students that want to go into the medical profession, so this is a great way to get a feeling or it,” she said.

Making such connections between donors’ interests and beneficial opportunities throughout the community is exactly what the Foundation strives to do every day.

“This was an absolute perfect example of connecting a donor with a need that also fits their interests,” Foundation President Heather Allender said. “This is exactly what we want to accomplish with our funds.”

For Allie Rainer, a junior, the program was a chance for her to gain valuable knowledge and experience in regards to her intended field of study.

With plans to be a pre-med major and eventually become an oncologist, Rainer sees her anatomy class and the program as major advantages compared to many of her peers who will not have such exposure before college. “The autopsy program gave me a better idea of what it will really be like, “she said.

The kits provided to students actually help to extend the learning even further when the video conference was over.  They allowed students to run their own toxicology tests, a rather unique opportunity for high school students. “This real-world experience is what makes learning memorable for students,” Hall said.

While she’s very excited to get to teach such a specialized class as Anatomy & Physiology, Hall remains grateful for the opportunity to extend her students’ practical, real-world learning through the Foundation’s help.

“I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the opportunity that the Marietta Community Foundation provided for my students,” Hall said. “It allowed them to see practical, real-world applications of everything that we have been learning in class. Without the Foundation’s funding, such an opportunity would not have been possible.”