Memorial service to celebrate bodies donated to science

School of PA Studies' students held a memorial service to honor those who donated their bodies for education

Aug. 30, 2012 – For Sarah Oakes, a first-year student in the UF College of Medicine’s School of Physician Assistant Studies, working with a cadaver was a profound experience.

“Words are inadequate to describe it,” she said.

Oakes and the rest of the students in the Physician Assistant class of 2014 spent summer B working with cadavers as part of their anatomy lab. The 60 students were divided into groups of five and were each assigned a cadaver.

On Aug. 29, the students held a memorial service to honor the people who chose to donate their bodies for education. During the emotional 20-minute ceremony, they shared stories about their experience and read quotes from famous authors, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, about the body and soul.

The students also will use cadavers next summer in a clinical lab, Oakes said, where they will learn to perform invasive procedures before their clinical year begins.