Medical and graduate students sent in videos explaining what the donation of family members' bodies meant for their learning experiences.
Since 2014, PCOM Georgia has offered families of those who have donated their bodies to science an opportunity to meet the first year medical students who have benefited greatly from their loved ones’ selfless contribution. The Saturday before Mother’s Day, these family members have gathered on campus for a breakfast and a ceremony planned by the students as a way to thank them for their gift.
This year, the gathering could not take place in person, so students decided to thank family members through a video now posted on the campus’ website. Jeffrey Seiple, Director of PCOM Georgia’s Anatomical Donor Services, said, “We hope you view the 2020 Donor Memorial Tribute video to understand how much your loved one has influenced the education of our students at PCOM Georgia. Our donors’ legacies live on through our students and will never be forgotten.”
The video was produced by first year student and Class Representative Suvarsha Sura (DO ’23). She said, “My class really embraced this project. We were looking forward to hosting the memorial service and meeting the families so I think this video gave us a way to be a part of the experience and connect with the families.”
Class members had met with Seiple and Anatomy Coordinator Ronald Wilde monthly since November to work on organizing the memorial service. Sura said, “None of this would have been possible without Jeff and Ron who are some of the most compassionate people I have ever met. They truly care for these families and are so appreciative of the families and donors.”
Many PCOM Georgia Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and Physician Assistant Studies (PA) students sent in thank you videos explaining what the donation of one’s body meant to their medical school experience.
Brea Echard (DO ’23) said, “The experience allowed me to become more confident and gave me a clearer understanding of the type of work I’d like to do as a physician. I gained invaluable experience and knowledge that will serve as a foundation for every future patient encounter.”
Jordan Clear (DO ’23) agreed, saying, “The Anatomy Lab is the cornerstone of every physician’s education and the launch pad for their career. Your family’s selfless contribution has allowed me to see the order and the sophisticated beauty of the human body unencumbered by textbooks in a way that very few have the privilege of seeing.”
“The Anatomy Lab has opened a world of wonder to me,” said Hussain Kachwalla (DO ’23). “It has sparked my curiosity and strengthened my passion for medicine.”
Overall, the message from the student doctors was gratitude. Sabrina Weeks (DO ’23) said, “I want to thank each and every one of you, family members and loved ones of our first patients, for allowing us to learn so much more about the amazing and awe-inspiring human body. I know that the information that I learned is something I’m going to carry with me for the rest of my life and for the rest of my career.”
Sura said the gift made her “a more compassionate individual. I will always cherish this experience throughout my life.”
The cremains were returned to the families along with letters written by the students thanking family members for their loved ones’ contribution to their medical education.
Learn more about the Body Donor Program at PCOM Georgia.
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine which has a storied history as a premier osteopathic medical school. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500.
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