Anatomical Gifts Memorial Service

USA medical students Ben McCormick and Whitney Smith

The USA Anatomical Gifts Program plays an integral role in the education of medical students, residents and physicians. The program holds a memorial service every two years to honor the lives of donors. The service also gives students and faculty the opportunity to express their appreciation and gratitude to the families of the donors.

Donated bodies are used to train medical students in anatomy during their first semester of medical school and to train practicing physicians in new medical procedures. Residents in orthopaedic surgery and gynecology also receive more specific training when they study bodies, and bodies also are used for physician research projects.

Bodies donated to the program are treated with utmost care and respect. They are introduced to the class as their first patients. The students behave professionally, and are grateful to the donors for furthering their medical careers. After the studies are complete, the body will be cremated and the ashes interred by the University in Pine Crest Cemetery West. The ashes also may be returned to the donor's family at their request.

For more information about the program, please contact Bonni Crowder at