This is a ceremony "for the individuals who have provided their bodies for one final service to their fellowmen - the contribution to Medical Education and Research". Anatomy isn't something you can learn from a textbook or a professor. I mentioned this in my blog post after our last anatomy class too. My class (and other medical school classes from around the city) was happy we had the chance to show the family of these brave donors how much we appreciated our donor's selflessness.
I was lucky enough to be one of the eulogizers during the ceremony. I was also the first eulogizer (no pressure!) Fortunately, I had an awesome set of friends who helped me craft a great eulogy - thanks Asmi, Jon, Anna, Paul and Eric! I couldn't have done with without you guys. I can't think of a better way to express my gratitude to our donors than the speech, so here it is:
What I didn’t realize then was how our donors stay with us long after our Anatomy class. Even in our classes now – where we are learning about renal artery blockages, vericoceles, or cerebral vasculature with the circle of Willis, I stop and think back to my anatomy lab and recall what the relevant structure looks like. The anatomy experience allows me to visualize the pathological process that is happening and how it fits into a patient’s illness and treatment. This exercise cannot be effectively learned from a professor’s lecture, a classmate’s explanation, or a textbook; it would be impossible without the contribution from our donors. Every patient we meet teaches us something. We consider our donors to be our first patients: their impact on us will, without a doubt, stay with us for life.