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Saturday Academy students visit MedCure's cadaver lab in East Portland

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Molly McGraw, a junior from Grant High School, left, and Andrea Dennis, a junior from La Salle Catholic College Preparatory, watch an endoscopic view from a camera they inserted into a diseased human heart. They are being helped by lab tech Jared Monnette.

Brains and hearts and knees, oh my!

Sixteen Saturday Academy classmates learned about human anatomy firsthand at MedCure Surgical Training Center Thursday, July 24, scrubbing up and studying real specimens.

Through whole body donations, MedCure provides advanced training to physicians and surgeons. The Portland location, 18111 N.E. Sandy Blvd., is one of three in the country.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Lab tech Tyler Laws instructs students to feel the surface of a healthy knee joint.

Along with training medical professionals, MedCure aims to educate the public about whole body donation and how it contributes to science.

“We think it’s very important to make medical research more approachable to the community,” said Tim Christy, marketing director for MedCure.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Gresham High School senior Taylor Sund aspires to study computational neurology. Thursday's visit to MedCure offered Sund and her classmates an opportunity to study real anatomical specimens.

Incoming Gresham High School senior Taylor Sund dreams of pursuing computational neurology, a field she sums up as putting human brains into robots and making them think.

Sund said she has aspirations of eventually attending medical school, traveling and going into the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders.

“’I love this so much,” Sund said of the field trip. “It’s an amazing experience to see something up close like this and go beyond textbook work.”

Sund’s class toured the facility with Sally Niedermeyer, a Saturday Academy teacher who teaches for the health science program at Portland’s Benson High School during the school year and has 35 years of experience as a nurse.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Students examine the two sides of a human brain.

Niedermeyer said it was a rare treat for high school students to enter a cadaver lab. Their closest glimpse of anatomical specimens may have been the OMSI Bodyworlds exhibit.

“These guys are our future medical professionals,” Niedermeyer said. “It’s really exciting for them to see where they will be going. What an opportunity for them to see how the bodies are treated and what happens when organs are donated for a transplant versus whole body donation.”

In addition to the high school group, students from Concorde Career College toured MedCure last Thursday.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Quel Hawkins, a lab tech, shows students the various tools used in surgical procedures.

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