Medical education has the difficult task of presenting the science of medicine without losing sight of humanism.
The OU College of Medicine instituted the Anatomical Donor Memorial Luncheon, which introduces students to the life story of the donor and to recognize the gift the donor and his or her family has made to the students' medical education.
A dissection team of eight first year students meet with family members of the specific donor. Students receive orientation about what to discuss, how to pose appropriate questions, and are encouraged to learn the donor's life story.
Families members are fortified with the information regarding medical school and the importance of students personalizing the learning environment of gross anatomy.
Family members comment that this is a healthy environment for discussing the loss of a loved family member. Students are uniformly positive about the experience and express a commitment to learn from the donor.