“Being able to honor them and care for them throughout my first year is something I will never forget.”
Anya Rahman, M2, Student at MU’s School of Medicine
Last month, I had the privilege of participating in a very special event at Mizzou. On August 11, our medical students got to better know their “first patients.”
The “first patient” is the term used for the donor who gifted their body, allowing students the opportunity to learn in ways that traditional lectures or other pedagogies do not allow. Acknowledging the donor, and learning about each of the 65 donors that gave so willingly, is not just an act of gratitude, it is a mark of respect for the dignity of human life. The event was highlighted with life stories of donors that made our first patients come alive. The lyrics of the song sung by our students were touching and deeply touched the family members who had travelled from different parts of our state and across the country.
The School of Medicine, the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, the Office of Medical Education, and the College of Health Sciences came together to support this event. The Gift of Body Committee deserves our appreciation and applause for creating this event. We are particularly grateful to the families who participated and to our “first patients,” whose gift helps our students appreciate the humanity that must be an integral part of medicine.