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PCOM Reflects During Celebration of Remembrance

May 4, 2022

PCOM medical student arranges flowers to honor individuals who donated their bodies for medical learning.On Tuesday, May 3, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) hosted a Celebration of Remembrance Ceremony. The event was held to honor and remember the many individuals who have donated their bodies to medical and educational research on the PCOM campus. Students in the Class of 2025 Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program, performed songs, readings and reflections.

“Those who donated their body did so for your education, because, simply put, the quality of your education would suffer without them,” shared Michael McGuinness, PhD, professor in the Department of Anatomy, who spoke at the event. Dr. McGuinness also shared a statistic that, on-average, a family medicine doctor will see between 1,200 and 1,900 patients per year. Because of these donor’s selfless gift, students across the nation can learn the skills they need to go on and treat tens of thousands of patients in their lifetime.

During the ceremony, students read the names of the eighty-six individuals that donated their bodies. White roses, one for each donor, were placed in vases that will sit outside the anatomy lab. These roses are a daily reminder for students, faculty and staff of the tremendous sacrifice these donors have made for their education and research.

PCOM medical students sing during the body donor memorial ceremonySara Sabatino, MS, manager of the Human Anatomy Lab and adjunct anatomy professor in the Department of Bio-medical Sciences also spoke at the event. Ms. Sabatino is the coordinator for PCOM’s Body Donor Program and works closely with Human Gifts Registry donors, their families and friends to make the program possible. In reflecting on the sacrifice of PCOM’s donors, Ms. Sabatino shared that people who have decided to donate their bodies all have one thing in common: “They just wanted to help people learn.”

This annual event, usually open to all medical schools in the Philadelphia area and hosted on the University of Pennsylvania campus, was brought onto the PCOM campus for the second time due to COVID-19. The hope is to continue the event annually and extend the invitation to the family members and friends of PCOM’s donors in the future.

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  • About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit or call 215-871-6100.

    For more information, contact:
    Daniel McCunney
    Associate Director, News and Media Relations
    Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: 267-449-1360

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