Published on May 3rd, 2019

Cadaver Dissection at Phillipsburg High School to Be Led by St. Luke’ Orthopedic Team

The St. Luke’s Orthopedic Care team, led by Nicholas Avallone, MD, and athletic trainer Chris Servian, will lead a dissection of a human cadaver for Phillipsburg High School students.

Fifty-five students, many of whom are interested in health care careers, will take part in the full-day lab on Friday, May 3, to examine the anatomy of the upper extremity from shoulder to fingers and see how nerves, muscles, tendons, blood vessels and bones interact with each other for proper function.

“Upper extremity injuries are quite common in all age groups so understanding the anatomy of this region is the first step towards comprehending the multitude of problems that can occur and ultimately how to treat them,” said Dr. Avallone, an award-winning orthopedic surgeon who serves as the team physician for Phillipsburg High School. “I’m certain that this experience will be memorable for the students and faculty and that it will spark the interest of the surgical specialists, health care providers and scientists of tomorrow.”

In addition to the small group of student scientists who will directly participate in the dissection, all students and staff will have the opportunity to view the dissection via video.

“Phillipsburg School District is excited to partner with St. Luke’s to offer this event for students who are competitive and serious about careers in medicine and medical science,” says Dr. Greg Troxell, superintendent of Phillipsburg High School. “This kind of participation in surgical theater is exactly what medical school students are doing and we’re able to offer it here at the high school level.”

At least half of the students participating in the dissection are taking advanced anatomy and physiology courses and have already dissected a pig heart, sheep kidney/brain, and a cow eye this year. Most of these sophomores, juniors and seniors are interested in pursuing careers in health care or working in biomedical engineering, veterinary science or physical and occupational therapy.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our students, especially those planning to go to college to major in the biomedical field,” explains Teresa Perlowski, biology, anatomy and physiology teacher. “It allows our students to work side-by-side with experts in the medical community to gain real world experience and help them navigate their chosen career paths once they leave high school.”

The goal of the cadaver dissection is to make the learning experience as interactive and hands-on as possible while giving students a chance to ask questions about different aspects of orthopedic surgery.

“I try to not only convey to these students the intricacies and complexities of the shoulder, elbow and arm, but I also emphasize how treating these areas can and does make a difference in patients’ lives,” says Dr. Avallone. “By giving patients great care, we can help them improve their function, relieve their pain and get back to the things they love to do.”

Where: Phillipsburg High School


  • 7 – 9 am – Specimen preparation
  • 9– 10:30 am – Shoulder
  • 11– 12:30 pm – Elbow
  • 1– 2:30 pm – Wrist/Hand

News media to report to the main office where they will be escorted to the event.

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