This is the 10th year of the memorial service that honors family members by recognizing the contribution of their loved ones who gave a special gift to the study of medicine. Students from the medical, physician assistant, occupational therapy and physical therapy programs, along with faculty and staff, will share testimonials and their appreciation to family members in attendance.

“The memorial service is a unique opportunity for donors’ families to know that their loved one was treated with care and respect,” said event coordinator Carleen McNeely, part of the Basic Biomedical Sciences Department at the USD Sanford School of Medicine, “and that their loved one’s gift was not just a value to students and faculty in our program but to the study of medicine.”

The Sanford School of Medicine and the School of Health Sciences relies on the voluntary donation of bodies for medical and other professional health programs. Body donations are crucial in teaching gross anatomy as the foundation for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, occupational and physical therapists, and paramedics. Donors have served as the “first patient” for thousands of USD students.

“The anatomy laboratory is a unique educational experience, and the memorial service is an integral aspect of that experience,” said Dr. Stuart Inglis, director of medical anatomical laboratories at USD. “Students have an opportunity to express their gratitude to the donors’ families, and to gain an appreciation of the rich and fulfilling lives that these people have led.”

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