COLLEGE STATION, Texas — For medical students at A&M receiving their first patient is a bittersweet moment. Texas A&M college of medicine students gain hands-on training in a unique way.
Through the Willed Body Program at A&M, cadavers are donated to assist students in understanding the anatomy of the body.
”There’s no way that I would have been able to adequately understand the human body in such a 3-dimensional way," shared Lindsay Cline, a first-year A&M medical student. "I really feel that their gift to us has made all the difference.”
Students say, and instructional professor John Hubbard agrees, it’s an invaluable opportunity.
”All of these individuals who donate their body do so for the purpose of educating our students," said Hubbard. "We have our students visualize these individuals as their first real patients that they experience in their medical careers.”
During these studies, they focus on basic instrument handling and dissection techniques.
“A whole-body donation is a very unique opportunity that the public has to participate in the education of our health professional students,” Hubbard added.
With the partnership of a local funeral center Callaway Jones Funeral Center, it’s all made possible.
” It means a lot that we’re able to help medical research," said Cody Jones, owner of Callaway Jones Funeral Center. "We’re able to provide families some comfort in knowing that they’ve been able to make a difference with their loved one being donated to science and medical research,”
Students feeling that difference say their academic careers are propelled by their experiences.
”It allowed me to grow personally, professionally, and hopefully to be a more empathetic and understanding provider once I'm actually in the hospital doing rounds,” said Allan Pulliam, a first-year A&M medical student.
The Willed Body Program's students give a proper ceremony as a form of saying thank you to their first patients.
There are several ways that people can donate their bodies. If you're interested in contributing to the future of medicine and science, you can contact Callaway Jones Funeral Center for more information on coordinating body donations to Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine."