Students in the Biology II and Anatomy and Physiology classes at Berlin Brothersvalley High School (BBHS) had a unique opportunity to observe open heart surgery at a Pennsylvania hospital. According to the district’s newsletter, the students traveled to Allegheny General Hospital to participate in West Penn Allegheny Health System’s Open Heart Surgery Observation Program, coordinated by The Gerald McGinnis Cardiovascular Institute. From an observation deck above the operating table, the 13 students viewed a triple-bypass and a MAZE procedure to correct atrial fibrillation in a 50-year-old male patient. The program’s coordinator, Patricia Wolfe, provided a step-by-step explanation of what was happening as it unfolded.

“This experience will definitely prove to be a pivotal experience in the academic lives of our students, particularly those who are considering a career in medicine,” said BBHS science teacher Erin Karwatsky, who already has a waiting list for next year’s trip.