An hour-long service, preceded by a breakfast, was planned by first-year osteopathic medical students led by DO Class Chair Morgan Fuller (DO ’21).
“Your family members have been our first patients and greatest teachers,” Fuller said
addressing the approximately 200 attendees.
“Their parting gift has given us a foundation of knowledge and lessons in generosity
that we will carry with us the rest of our lives,” Fuller continued. “With every patient
encounter we have in our future, the memories of our first patient will shape our
diagnostic process and our understanding of our patients’ suffering.”
Jeffrey Seiple, director of the donor program, noted that each donor has been a teacher for about
145 first-year medical students and 20 physician assistant students.
“Giving your body to medical science is such a noble, generous and selfless act,“
Seiple said. “There is no higher calling than to be of service to your fellow man.”
Assistant Professor Dr. Michael Selby, who represented the anatomy faculty members at the ceremony, reflected on the value
of students learning firsthand from donors’ bodies.
“From an anatomy textbook, you can learn the names of muscles, memorize the locations
of arteries, make a list of nerves,“ he explained. “But you don’t get a sense of how
they fit together without seeing them for yourself.”
Selby added, “In a book, these are just words on a page—when you see them for yourself,
you realize that the human body is amazingly intricate.”
The students lit candles in honor of the donors and presented each donor’s cremains
to their family.
“These candles symbolize the memory of your loved ones, lit with the flame of knowledge
that they shared with us,” said Ashitha Rajerus (DO ’21)
During the service, organizers played a video in which students shared their gratitude
for the donors. The service also featured a performance by a brass ensemble during
a time of reflection. Family members had the opportunity to speak about their loved
ones as well.
Tracy Bachmann spoke of her mother, Dorothy Hershey, who donated her body to science.
“Mom always loved giving and helping others,”Bachman said. “During her last days,
Mom continued to give back by donating her body to medical science and assisting future
Assistant Professor of Anatomy Dr. Michael Selby reminded families that donors contributed
to the development of future healthcare providers.
He concluded, “Just know that your loved ones have helped these students learn anatomy,
helping them in their path to becoming physicians, and will in no small way touch
the lives of countless patients that they see down the road.”
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, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
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. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500. 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 pcomgeorgiahealth.org.
For more information, contact: Barbara Myers Senior Public Relations Manager Email: BarbaraMy@pcom.edu Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: