PCOM South Georgia Students Honor Donors with Memorial Service
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PCOM South Georgia Students Honor Donors with Memorial Service

May 25, 2023
PCOM South Georgia medical student Teighlor Livingston (DO ’26) speaks at a podium
Teighlor Livingston (DO ’26), chair of the class of 2026, leads the 2023 Donor Memorial Service held May 19 at PCOM South Georgia.

With violin music, candles, flowers and speeches, PCOM South Georgia osteopathic medicine and biomedical sciences students recognized the lives and selfless contributions made by 12 people who donated their bodies to science. Family members of the donors were invited to the service.

Students in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) class of 2026 and the Master of Biomedical Sciences (MS/Biomed) class of 2024 led the memorial service, held May 19 on the PCOM South Georgia campus. Darya Khani (DO ’26) and Sofia Sirocchi (DO ’26) performed four violin selections during the event. Students spoke about the knowledge they gained as future physicians and healthcare providers as a result of the body donor program.

Emma High (DO ’26) explained how she learned more than just anatomy facts.

“While working with your loved one, I learned the complexities of their body, shape of the muscles, the branching of their arteries and veins, and the nerves that travel throughout the body, across the heart that pumps blood and nutrients throughout the lungs,” she said, before explaining that she later began to think of the life that person lived. “The moment when your loved one transitioned from being a stranger to becoming our patient was the one moment when I finally felt like a medical student.”

Many of the student physicians consider body donors their first patients. These students also realize that their patients will require the holistic approach for which osteopathic medicine is known.

Hima Chakka (DO ’26) spoke about how each body tells the story of the donor. That experience caused her to reflect on her own life.

PCOM South Georgia DO students pose together
Student organizers of PCOM South Georgia 2023 Donor Memorial Service include student physicians (from left) Teighlor Livingston (DO ’26), John Buford (DO ’26), Siam Shabbir (DO ’26), Emma High (DO ’26) and Hima Chakka (DO ’26).

“I thought about if I could be as selfless as your family members,” she said to those gathered for the memorial service. “I thought about the connections I made over time and how thankful I am for their impact on my life. I realize I push aside these types of self-reflection because when we’re busy we sometimes do that. But this experience helped me realize that self-reflection is important for building empathy. This will help us all become better doctors. Your family members have influenced us positively in many ways.”

Students lit a candle for each of the 12 body donors being remembered.

“Just as we light candles for our donors, their contributions to our education will continue to shine the light on our paths as future physicians,” said Teighlor Livingston (DO ’26), chair of the class of 2026. “Let us constantly be reminded of the humanity in our own contribution as we proceed forward in life and in practice.”

Visit the PCOM South Georgia Body Donor Program webpage for more information or contact Jeremy Dickens, anatomical coordinator at PCOM South Georgia, at danielldi1@pcom.edu or 229-668-3261.

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  • About PCOM South Georgia

    In 2019, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied 125-year history, 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. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit institution that 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 region. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 229-668-3110.

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    Cindy B. Montgomery
    Public Relations and Social Media Manager
    Email: cindymo@pcom.edu
    Office: 229-668-3198 | Cell: 229-873-2003

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