Livingston Central High School senior Olivia Grace Ramage, who was already interested in a health care career, remembers how she got a little inspiration one day in her sophomore anatomy class.
“One of the things we did was watch a knee replacement surgery, and I thought it was just one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen,” she said.
“I was like, ‘Wow, this is something that I’m really interested in,’ and then I read a book written by a woman, who was one of the first people to speak out against Larry Nassar and the sexual abuse, and she went to him because she had a wrist injury and she later needed surgery for it. She felt that she couldn’t go to a male surgeon, so she lived in fear for months because there were only male orthopedic surgeons in her area.”
It had Ramage, 17, thinking about the importance and need for more female orthopedic surgeons, which is now the career path she wants to take.
She likes how there’s lots of things you can do within orthopedic surgery, such as different subspecialties. There’s opportunity to work with athletes, as well.
“I enjoy running because I’m on the cross country and the track team, so that’s the kind of thing I have the most experience with. Sometimes my teammates get hurt, or I’ve had injuries where I’ve ended up like needing X-rays or something,” she said, adding that it’s cool seeing how bones and muscles work together.
For college, Ramage is undecided on where to go, but she’s considering Ole Miss, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. She plans to major in biomedical engineering on a pre-medicine track for undergraduate study, before attending medical school.
Ramage, daughter of Jeff and Greta Ramage of Smithland, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Each Monday and Tuesday, The Sun publishes profile stories on area high school seniors selected from a pool of nominations for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a committee names one of these students as Teen of the Year. It comes with a $5,000 scholarship. A second student is chosen for the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At Livingston Central, Ramage has earned a 4.0 grade-point average and received a composite 34 ACT score. She also attended the Governor’s Scholar Program this summer at Bellarmine University, where she learned about environmental issues.
In addition to the track and cross county teams, she previously played three years on the volleyball team. Ramage serves as president for Future Business Leaders of America, student council class secretary and captain for the academic team. She takes part in various school organizations, including Beta Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Additionally, Ramage has participated in the Medical Explorers program and volunteered the summer before her junior year at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. It served as a “really good opportunity” to be in a hospital environment and see how one runs on a day-to-day basis.
“There are so many parts that people don’t see,” she said.
“Like, obviously everyone thinks of, ‘Oh, there’s nurses and there’s doctors and there’s occupational therapists and things like that.’ Then, there are also people who never see patients, really, but they’re in the back and they’re doing work that’s so important that allows the whole hospital to run. It’s just so cool how interconnected everybody is with relying on each other and how important it is to communicate within the departments.”
As for senior year, Ramage acknowledged that it’s “disappointing” to be on virtual learning, due to the COVID-19 situation, and to miss out on certain events. She misses seeing her friends, but she tries to make the best of it.
“I’m excited to graduate,” she said. “I’m excited about college, like I wouldn’t say that I’m super nervous about it or anything, but I’ll definitely miss my friends here and I want to just enjoy the time I have left.”
By: Kelly Farrell