Megan Iseman examined her first patient this summer – and though it wasn’t a typical experience, it resonated.
Iseman, a first-year student in the UF College of Medicine’s School of Physician Assistant Studies, was one of 61 students to work with cadavers in anatomy lab during summer B.
“I started thinking of them as my first patients,” Iseman said. “I believe these people donated their bodies not only as a gift but as a challenge to keep the wonder of medicine alive.”
On Aug. 28, the class of 2015 hosted an intimate ceremony to thank those who donated their bodies to educate the next generation of health care professionals.
During the nearly 45-minute memorial, students sat in clusters and, one by one, each of the 12 lab groups shuffled to the front of the room to speak about the summer’s experience.
Some of the five-to-six-member groups read poems or quotes from famous authors; others took an impromptu approach. They expressed appreciation for the guidance of their professors and the chance to learn, grow and bond with their classmates.
But most of all, gratitude became the defining thread of the ceremony, from the lighting of the 12 candles at the front of the room to the moment of silence.
“To 61 strangers you gave, quite literally, all that you are,” Dale Houser, a student from group 10, said of the donors. “The road ahead is still long… but because of gifts like yours, it doesn’t feel daunting. Every patient we see and heal will be an extension of your gift.”