Valley Stream, NEW YORK (December, 2021) —AP Biology students at Valley Stream Central High School had a lesson in emergency medicine this month, and were given the opportunity to learn the basics of suturing on patients—of the fruit variety, that is.
Each student was provided with a banana that was “suffering” a deep wound and a suturing kit. Students were tasked with sewing the fruit’s skin back together, and the activity was part of their curriculum in which every three weeks, Central Class of 1976 graduate Dr. Richard Evans visits Patrick Tirino’s AP Biology class and provides them with a lesson in medicine.
“I teach them how to read CT scans and X-rays, give them lessons on Covid-19, and show how to interpret lab results. I also show them how to treat trauma injuries and kidney stones or even develop a medical app,” Dr. Evans said. In the case of his suturing lesson, he said a ripe, yellow banana is an ideal patient because its skin is similar to that of a human’s.
“The kids were so engrossed in it, and when they were done, they took pictures of their bananas and told everyone that it was the first patient of their career,” Dr. Evans continued.
Dr. Evans, who works as a urologist in Rockland County, has been visiting Central for roughly three years to give his lessons, and said he returned because of how his experience as a Central High School student led him down his own career path.
“I was in the first AP Biology course provided at Central and it had a big effect on me,” he recounted. “It really propelled me towards going into medical school, and I wanted to do the same for other students there.”
Mr. Tirino said Dr. Evans’ lessons have been valuable to the students. “He is a gift to us and we are incredibly grateful for his generosity,” Mr. Tirino said.
For more information about the Valley Stream Central High School District, please visit the District’s website at https://www.vschsd.org/, and ‘like’ our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ValleyStreamCentralHighSchoolDistrict