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Lincolnton native learns medical ropes

After a middle school field day mishap, Matthew Cline hurt his knee and discovered the medical process.
The young boy was fascinated by his surgery and rehabilitation process – so much so that he is now a student at Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine.
To gain first hand experience, the 23-year-old has chosen his hometown. This way he gets to spend time with his family and reconnect with friends.
There’s another perk: unlike some of his fellow students, everyone in Lincolnton can understand his accent.
“Even though it’s not strong, it’s definitely distinct,” Cline said. “(At school) I have to repeat things occasionally.”
Cline has his first week of hands-on experience behind him, but he’ll be back three more weeks this year to work at the Lincolnton Medical Group shadowing Dr. Don Bias.
The comfort of home doesn’t leave Cline when he steps into the doctor’s office.
“Every three patients I know, or they know me or someone in my family,” Cline said.
The medical students enjoys seeing so many familiar faces, and talking one-on-one with a patient is definitely not something he gets much practice with in the classroom.
“I think that’s a huge part of medicine – being able to interact with people,” he said.
A fifth generation Lincolnton native, Cline has yet to map out his future, but the thought of settling long-term in Lincolnton definitely appeals to him.
Bias hopes Cline decides to settle here.
“The way he is, it says a lot about our community,” Bias said.
Cline isn’t the first medical student to shadow Bias. In fact, just last year, the doctor showed another Lincoln County native the ropes.
“It think the biggest thing they learn is what it’s really like to be in the real world,” said Bias.
As for Cline, he’s back to hitting the books at Wake Forest University.
“It’s a formidable challenge,” he said about medical school. “There’s nothing easy about it. If it’s what you love, if it’s what you want to do, it’s worth the hours of studying on end.”
by Sarah Grano

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