UVA School of Medicine students thank anatomical donors for their contributions

The University of Virginia School of Medicine
The University of Virginia School of Medicine(none)
Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 10:34 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA School of Medicine students thanked families on Friday night for their vital sacrifices.

At a private event, students paid respect to anatomical donors -- families who donated the bodies of their loved ones for educational purposes.

They shared stories and artwork with the families and said the work is helping to provide hands-on training for future physicians -- as well as a confidence boost.

“I think a lot of med students kind of come into anatomy not thinking they’re worthy enough to dissect a body or be able to treat patients at the end of the day,” said Misky Sharif, a second-year student. “And this is kind of the biggest way for somebody to say ‘I believe in you,’ for them to like donate their body to education.”

Elizabeth Wat, another second-year student, explained the importance of the bodies to their education.

“We call them our first patients because they’re really the ones who teach us about how the body works and what it looks like,” she said. “It’s so integral to understanding basically any illness that a person may experience.”

Emily Fronk, who is studying at UVA with hopes of working on surgeries, said these sacrifices go well beyond classroom studies.

“Not a lot of people know about donating your body for medical students to learn from, and it’s something that [will benefit] every single patient we have for the rest of our careers,” she said. “It’s going to be because of this donor and because they made this sacrifice for us. And so you have not only the opportunity to touch one life, you have the opportunity to touch thousands of lives. That’s just something that we’re incredibly grateful for.”

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