Gwinnett County

Bringing the OR to the classroom: Gwinnett students watch surgery in real-time

SNELLVILLE, Ga. — A group of high school students and possible future physicians got a taste of real life Wednesday as they witnessed a real surgery with a real patient.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach was at South Gwinnett High School in Snellville, where this is a first for the district.

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Around 50 South Gwinnett students were inside the classroom, not watching a movie, but watching a urologist perform surgery on a cancer patient, removing a tumor from a kidney.

The OR is the classroom as students get to witness and interact with doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey as they perform a robotic-assisted surgery live.

“...So I was like oh surgery? But then robotic surgery, I thought this is a really a great opportunity for students to get connected to the medical field,” sophomore Ashley Robinson said.

The students, part of the healthcare pathway at South Gwinnett, got to see what the surgeon sees as they operate and ask questions.


For those who may want to be a nurse, caregiver, doctor, or surgeon it can be difficult to get that exposure to real-world on-the-job experience.

“The healthcare field can be a little tricky with the age, so this allows them to do that, where they may not be able to step into a hospital till they get to college,” Quinesha Lewis, Healthcare Pathway teacher said.

“Between being a sophomore and going to college and eventually medical school hopefully. We just want to experience things to see if this is the path we really want to take,” sophomore Amy Zaraza said.

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This was an experience they’ll never forget.

The robotics used in the surgery are manufactured and produced in Gwinnett County.

The company Intuitive recently expanded its campus in Peachtree Corners and they plan to take students there for a field trip, or the next step of taking them to a hospital to see a surgery in person.