First year medical students gathered on November 2 to honor the 35 individuals who, through the gift of their bodies after death, provided the first lessons in the students’ medical school education. The students recently finished the Human Structure segment, in which they get hands-on experience with human anatomy.
Class president Paula McClain opened the ceremony by saying “We are here today to honor a gift that is almost indescribable.”
Student speakers reflected on what the donations meant to them and their careers, and others played and sang music in memory of the donors. The class also presented an original artwork to the faculty. The piece will hang in the hallway outside the anatomy lab.
The class wrote these words of appreciation:
“We, the class of 2022, would like to express our deepest gratitude to the thirty-five individuals who have given their bodies to us so that we may learn. These individuals have not only given to us, but given to the world. Their contributions to the practice of medicine will serve to help others in their time of suffering. We honor them with our hearts and our minds, as we continue to live our lives to serve others.”
At the end of the ceremony, a student representative from each lab table group placed a white rose in memory of their donor. The students then observed a moment of silence.
Each year, about 100 people sign up to donate their body as a whole to science upon their deaths through the UAMS Anatomical Gift Program.
For more information, please visit https://neurobiology.uams.edu/about/anatomical-gift-program/