Cadaver Memorials Honor “Silent Teachers”

March 15, 2011

Bryan-College Station students extinguish candles at their Cadaver Memorial

COLLEGE STATION AND TEMPLE, TEXAS—As part of a burgeoning tradition at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, first-year medical students gathered in January and February to honor and thank their first teachers—their cadavers from the gross anatomy lab—at the college’s annual Cadaver Memorials. 

About 50 students at the Bryan-College Station campus gathered on January 25 for their Cadaver Memorial in the Joe H. Reynolds Medical Building. 

First-year student and campus executive officer, Joshua Haverland, welcomed the students and offered his thoughts. 

Temple student selecting a rose at Cadaver Memorial

“We have a very unique opportunity as students of medicine to give thanks and to memorialize those who have given their bodies so that we could learn from them,” he said.

The students then lit candles, each one representing a cadaver.

Wei-Jung Chen, Ph.D., Director of the Gross Anatomy course, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, then encouraged the students to reflect upon first meeting their cadavers and the privilege of learning medicine.

“We are here today for one reason only—to thank your first patients and your first teachers, your silent teachers,” he said.  “They are your source of medical knowledge and your inspiration for humanity.”

About 10 students at the Temple campus gathered on February 1 for their Cadaver Memorial in the Medical Education Center where Dr. Chen also spoke.  The students selected individual white roses to represent their cadavers.

Bryan-College Station Cadaver Memorial students

Temple Cadaver Memorial students

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