As I become more knowledgable about the medical education curriculum at UMMS, I truly believe medical student education really embodies the idea of learning by doing. One of these important experiential learning opportunities is spending their entire first year in a group of six students with a single anatomical donor’s body, “moving together system by system and learning detailed anatomy, and both empathy and professional detachment” (UMMS News).
UMMS has started a new program that provides future anatomical donors a chance to virtually connect with medical students through creating a video to be viewed only by future students. The program is a result of studies conducted at the medical school which found that U-M medical students and registered donors favored some mechanism for connecting with students.
For more information about Anatomical Donation at U-M, please visit the Anatomical Donation Webpage.
Other recent discussions about the relationship between medical students and anatomical donors can be found in the following articles:
Sheila M. Crow , Dan O’Donoghue , Jerry B. Vannatta & Britta M. Thompson (2012) Meeting the Family:
Promoting Humanism in Gross Anatomy, Teaching and Learning in Medicine: An International Journal, 24:1, 49-54, DOI:
da Rocha, A. O., Tormes, D. A., Lehmann, N., Schwab, R. S. and Canto, R. T. (2013), The body donation program at the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre: A successful experience in Brazil. Anatomical Science Education, 6: 199–204. doi: 10.1002/ase.1335
(in press) Green C, et al., Attitudes of the medical profession to whole body and organ donation, The Surgeon (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surge.2013.06.002