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Students Pen Letter to Donor Families


June 12, 2020

PCOM South Georgia DO students

The inaugural DO class wrote a letter to body donors’ families expressing gratitude for their family members' contributions to medicine.


During their first year of medical school, students learn from selfless individuals who have donated their bodies to science. Each year, PCOM students plan a ceremony for Mother’s Day weekend to thank the family members of the donors. This year, the students had no choice but to take a different route. Rather than host a ceremony, members of the inaugural class of the PCOM South Georgia Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program wrote a letter to the donors’ families and loved ones expressing their gratitude.

Jeremy Dickens, anatomy lab instructor, has seen first-hand the impact that the donors have had on students’ education.

“Working with these donors gives such a different perspective of learning because the students can physically see and touch what they are studying,” Dickens said. “Hands-on learning compared to textbook learning, especially in the anatomy lab, is irreplaceable.”

Dickens added, “The gift these families gave has changed so many lives. These students could not become great physicians without their gift. It gives the students a sense of realism that what they are embarking on is serious and will affect a lot of people in the future.”

In the letter, first-year student Hurara Khan said, “I am so beyond grateful that I was given the opportunity to learn from this experience - one that I will remember for the rest of my life. I developed one of my deepest human connections with her. I spent countless hours with her between the hours of 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. learning everything I could about her in such a short period of time. I developed an understanding of the intricacies of her body which allowed her to live a beautiful and long life. I wish I could have known her in person-all of the great things she accomplished and the memories she made during her lifetime.”

Jessica Youssef echoed the sentiment of gratefulness, calling the donors heroes. “Thank you for supporting them in making this decision because it was truly life changing for me and all my fellow classmates. I would like to acknowledge the sacrifice they’ve made for the future of medicine - they are truly heroes in my eyes. Your family and your loved one will always be in my prayers. I can only strive to be as brave and contribute to the world just as they have.”

The donor cremains were returned to the families along with the letter written by the students thanking family members for their loved ones’ contribution to their medical education.

Read the full letter from the students to the body donor families.

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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, which offers a full four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. In addition, a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences will be offered beginning in August 2020. 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 on August 12, 2019, has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. For more information, visit pcom.edu/southgeorgia or call 229-668-3110.

    For more information, contact:

    Jordan Roberts
    Public Relations and Social Media Specialist
    Email: jordanro1@pcom.edu
    Office: 229-668-3198 | Cell: 229-873-2003

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