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Joint Replacements Inspire Student's Medical Aspirations 

Joint Replacements Inspire Student's Medical Aspirations 

For the average American, joint replacements are becoming more and more common. For Perkins High School senior Landon Williams, observing a full hip replacement first-hand ignited his passion for pursuing a medical career. 

“A memorable moment that stood out to me was my first time seeing a full hip replacement, which kinda cemented my love for pursuing the medical field,” Landon said of his site visits to Firelands Regional Medical Center as part of his Academy Experience.

With multiple relatives having undergone hip and knee replacement surgeries, the experience resonated on a personal level. The purpose of Landon’s trips was to explore different medical fields hands-on to determine if healthcare was the right career path for him. He was able to shadow anesthesia and orthopedic specialists like Dr. Chris Yontz and Dr. Carlisle, asking questions and gaining insights about their day-to-day responsibilities.

It is only thanks to the commitment of on-site mentors that these learning experiences are possible.

Initially expecting a very intense environment with life-or-death situations occurring daily, Landon was struck by the camaraderie and teamwork that medical staffers relied on.

"The people there work together to relieve the stress placed on one another to help make the job a bit easier mentally," he said.

While witnessing procedures first-hand reinforced Landon’s interest, making connections to concepts he had learned in biology, anatomy, and psychology classes was equally impactful.

"I really connected with the many things I learned in my courses which allowed me to view the operations from a structural standpoint," he said. 

Some challenges included comprehending complex medical terminology and being able to follow everything happening in real-time. However, Landon overcame these hurdles by constantly asking questions.

"My perspective was altered because I couldn’t tell what was going on right away, so the urgency of what was happening never clicked," he said.

Nonetheless, the hands-on learning convinced him that healthcare was the right path. 

"The hospital field visits helped me narrow down which medical field I would like to study in the future; love doing everything there, even the stuff that may be taken for granted."

For other students considering an Academy Experience, Landon had some straightforward advice: "Make the most of it, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Not everything is as easy as it may have been, and just because hard work is necessary doesn't mean your dreams can’t come true."

When asked about his involvement as a mentor for Academy Experience students such as Landon, Dr. Yontz said, "through Academy Experience, Landon was able to get an up-close look at a day in the life of the many healthcare professionals it takes to successfully perform total joint surgery. His enthusiasm was both welcomed and appreciated. Learners have a way of brightening our day by reminding us of the passion that led us to our careers, even in the midst of healthcare challenges. These experiences not only lead students in the right direction after high school but also help them build relationships with mentors in the field. Programs like this create pipelines for ambitious local students to become the professionals taking care of our community down the road." 

With college rapidly approaching next year, Landon feels better prepared and motivated thanks to his illuminating visits. His Academy Experience also showed him the tremendous impact that knowledgeable mentors can have.

The opportunity "has helped shape me into a student with aspirations for his future, fueling a passion for my future area of study," Landon said.

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