|Students offer prayers from various faiths.|
In the last year, more than 400 people have donated their bodies after death to Saint Louis University School of Medicine so that medical students, as well as allied health students and medical residents, could learn. On Friday, students, faculty and family and friends of the donors came together to honor and pay tribute to these men and women.
The Gift Body Program is an integral component of the medical education at Saint Louis University, according to Margaret Cooper, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and associate director of the program.
"The human anatomy course, taught during the first year of medical school, is the first step toward becoming a physician. Through dissection, our students have an incredible opportunity to study structures within the body and how they relate to one another. No computer simulated 3-D view could ever offer the in-depth view students get through dissection; it's an experience they will never forget," Cooper said.
|Students perform Nearer, My God to Thee.|
"Many of the men and women who donate their bodies to Saint Louis University School of Medicine do so because they want to advance medical training and research, and to help future generations. This service is our students' way of showing their gratitude and respect for their ‘first patients.'"
The Class of 2015 medical students planned the service at Saint Francis Xavier Church, which included reflections, prayers, music and thanks to those in attendance.
Nearly 1,200 guests attended the memorial service. According to Cooper, the service also provides closure for the friends and family members of the donors.
To find out more about Saint Louis University's Gift Body Program, call (314) 977-8027.
Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious disease.
|Students placed flowers over an envelope that contained the names of all 435 individuals who donated their body last year.|