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Medical Students Honor Their First Patients

May 19, 2022

PCOM South Georgia medical students organized the 2022 body donor memorial service for donors' familiesAmerican author Carol Brink wrote that “The most truly generous persons are those who give silently without hope of praise or reward.”

That statement is how PCOM South Georgia students described the selfless gift of anatomical donors and their families during the campus' annual Body Donor Memorial Service—a time where students, faculty and staff speak to the donors’ loved ones about the impact donors have had on their education and future career.

Learn More: Body Donor Program at PCOM South Georgia

Anatomical donors are the very first patient of graduate and medical students. Thanks to the donors' generosity, students at PCOM South Georgia learn firsthand about the intricacies of the human body. Those who donate their remains to support programs in medical education and research make a tremendous contribution to scientific knowledge and understanding.

Destiny Sciuva (DO '25), class chair, followed Brink’s quote by saying, “With your loved ones' silent gift will come years of silent praise and tangible reward as the lessons they've given us will be cast throughout all of our medical careers. The gift of medicine that we'll soon practice started with the gift of their donation, and for that, we are wholeheartedly grateful.”

Schiley Pierre Louis (DO '25) explained how his time with his first patient in the anatomy lab enlightened him about future patient encounters.

“Our donors helped us appreciate the uniqueness of our future patients, which should serve as a reminder that we can't proceed with one size fits all care in medicine,” he said. “It needs to be patient-driven.”

Sarah Amaris (DO '25), addressed the families and friends of the donors, saying, “I often thought about the lifetime of experiences each person had, and how during that lifetime your loved one chose to give us one of the greatest educational experiences we will ever have.”

Medical students show appreciation to the anatomical body donors through candles and flowersAfter saying their appreciation to the donors' families and friends, the students lit 11 candles to represent the lives of the 11 donors.

Sciuva said, “Lighting these candles in honor of your loved ones signifies that the memory still lives on and burns bright. It is a ritual that promotes reflection and signifies remembrance… The acknowledgment of knowing that their lessons would reach beyond their earthly lives reminds us that our greatest virtue to this profession is the same as why they've granted us this opportunity—to be selfless in the pursuit of helping others.”

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  • About PCOM South Georgia

    Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) extended its commitment to the Southeast by establishing PCOM South Georgia, an additional teaching location in Moultrie, Georgia. PCOM South Georgia offers both a full, four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree and a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit institution which trains professionals in the health and behavioral sciences fields. Joining PCOM Georgia in Suwanee in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state, PCOM South Georgia focuses on educating physicians for the South Georgia region. The medical campus, which welcomed its inaugural class of medical students in August 2019, has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. For more information, visit or call 229-668-3110.

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    Office: 229-668-3198 | Cell: 229-873-2003

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