Butterfly image

Annual Memorial Service

At the end of each school year, the students host a memorial service for family members of the donors. It is a chance for the relatives to have closure for the loss of their loved ones, and provides families with the opportunity to meet the medical students.

Some students speak about their experience working with the donated bodies. They talk about their deep appreciation for what some students describe as ‘the ultimate gift toward their medical education’, and how they expect to become better doctors because of this 'gift'.

They heard stories - real life stories - about the cadavers from the people who knew them in life.

One student expressed his gratitude for the chance to meet the family of the 93-year-old woman who became his first patient.  "The main point I wanted to convey to her family was that her body was treated with dignity," he said. "Her family was able to say goodbye to the person they lost but also see the everlasting legacy of their mother live on through us as doctors."

The memorial services are intended to instill in students an appreciation of the humanity of their cadavers and to help them cope with their ambivalence over dissecting a human body by giving them an opportunity to offer thanks. 

Click to read some of the students' writings.  Click to read some of our donors' literary contributions.  (please note that these writings will open into Microsoft Word)