Inside Nevada Medicine

Inside Nevada Medicine | June 18, 2019

News for A Healthy Nevada

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

Reflections from the Dean

Teaching anatomy through tech and touch

By Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

Studying the structure of the human body is one of the most important courses for health care professionals.

All physicians remember their first day in the anatomy lab. We enter the laboratory with anxiety, fear, wonder and awe.

We also enter the anatomy lab with a clear understanding of the sacredness of the human body, and a clear appreciation of the sacredness of the covenant we share with our first patient-an anatomical donor whose final act was to donate their body for the training of health care professionals. We remember that first day with extreme gratitude to the generosity of the donor and their ultimate gift to medical education.

Last week we honored these donors-our students' very first patients-during our annual Anatomical Donation Memorial Service at Walton's Sierra Chapel. Every summer, UNR Med first-year students express their appreciation to the donors' families and friends during a memorial service featuring song, speech and poetry.

The memorial service provides a fitting tribute and closure to the yearlong anatomy course and provides medical students with the opportunity to show their appreciation for the great gift their donors have made to anatomical research and education. The School of Medicine and our students invite the family and friends of donors to attend the service to learn more about the anatomical donation program and gain a sense of closure for the loss of their loved one.

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University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine medical students honor anatomical donors for their gift of teaching and discovery

June 14, 2019
Death can advance life. Anatomical donors – people who donate their bodies to medical education and research after passing away, teach medical students about far more than gross anatomy. Cadavers posthumously teach medical students how to care, work as a team and develop a sense of curiosity and discovery. Anatomical donors also teach medical students how to navigate emotions they'll face when delivering bad news and helping patients through difficult treatments, in order to make them well again.

Inside Nevada Medicine is a publication of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and the office of Advancement and Engagement. Please see the Content Submissions page for instructions on how to submit items for inclusion. Copyright © 2019 University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.