Future Healthcare Providers Honor Silent Teachers 
PCOM Georgia Holds Body Donor Memorial Service


September 28, 2021

As the clock struck noon on Thursday, September 16, the atrium at PCOM Georgia quieted as students prepared to honor their first patients.

Andrea Mann, DO, FAAP, dean of osteopathic medicine, addressed the students. She said, “Your patients made the ultimate sacrifice for you. They allowed themselves to be vulnerable. And, you, in turn, cared for your patients with empathy, compassion, patience and honor. Today, we are able to step back and recall what these beautiful people have given us.

“Thank you, donors, for being there for our students. We are forever grateful.”

Students, faculty and staff members gathered to recognize the twenty individuals who donated their bodies as silent teachers to further the medical education of 277 future healthcare providers.

PCOM Georgia medical student Candice Tate holds a marigold flower and stands with the body donor program coordinator and a donor family member.Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine class representative Candice Tate (DO ’24), who led the planning of the ceremony, expressed her gratitude for the hands-on learning the donors provided.

“Our books cannot replicate the masterwork of the human body. These donors have been our first patients and the greatest teachers. They have taught us the meaning of being human, both anatomically and spiritually.”

Jeff Seiple, the director of anatomical donor services for PCOM Georgia, said, “I would like to especially thank each family member of our donors, personally, for their confidence and endorsement of our college’s body donation program.

“You have entrusted your most precious possession with us. Because of this, we are full of gratitude and even humbled by your loved one’s gift and generosity.”

He noted that the donors have been teachers for about 135 medical students, 32 physician assistant students, 40 physical therapy students and 70 biomedical sciences students.

“What an incredible legacy to pass on to the next generation of healthcare providers,” he said.

Libby Lirette (DO ’24) shared a poem she had penned. An excerpt poignantly expressed the students’ sentiments.

“But what a gift to leave, to give
You gave a part of yourself to help people you’d never meet
You chose to be vulnerable
And for that we give thanks
We thank our donors and their families
For such a precious gift
We started as strangers excited to learn
To identify, to discover, and to be better prepared to heal
To some of us you were our first patient
The one who helped us finally understand what we couldn’t in class
To see the connections that models can’t imitate
Your body, your life, your gift
Is one of a kind
Just like each of our future patients.”

PCOM Georgia medical student Candice Tate holds a marigold flower and stands with the body donor program coordinator and a donor family member.As part of the ceremony, students planted marigolds to be given to someone who has been an integral part of their educational journey.

According to Tate, marigolds are often linked to the sun, representing power, strength and the light that lives inside a person. In addition, she said, marigolds are used as a way to remember individuals who are no longer with us.

“We felt that the symbolism of the marigold coupled with the idea of growth was perfect for today’s ceremony. The selfless sacrifice of our donors has allowed us growth as future healthcare professionals.

“Let the giving of the marigolds be a reminder of what our donors have given to us.”

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  • About 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, 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. 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/georgia or call 678-225-7500.

    For more information, contact:
    Barbara Myers
    Public Relations Manager
    Email: BarbaraMy@pcom.edu
    Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: 770-309-0613

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