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The 2008 Anatomy Ceremony: Voices, Letter, Poems

Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
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  • Arts & Humanities
  • Medicine


Layout 1 41 YALE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGYAND MEDICINE 82 (2009), pp. 41-46. Copyright © 2009. ARTS & HUMANITIES The 2008 Anatomy Ceremony: Voices, Letter, Poems Ogechukwu Eze, Fiona Horgan, Kim Nguyen, Mona Sadeghpour, Alla Lescure Smith Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut Yale University medical and PA students express their gratitude in a compilation of reflec- tions on learning human anatomy. VOICES OF THE CLASS Alla Lescure Smith, the YSM Class of 2011, and Physician Associates of 2009 Yale University School of Medicine These are the “voices of the class,” the responses of the first-year medical and physi- cian associate students to a series of questions about their experience in anatomy lab. The questions weren’t easy, and our answers weren’t simple, but it is this complexity that allows the narratives to weave together to tell the story of our donors. Ours is a unique and pro- foundly personal tale — one that manages to be funny and tragic and disturbing and uplift- ing all at the same time. What it is, at its core, is an honest story. Describe your feelings when you first saw your donor. “My group had a moment of silence when we first saw our donor. I privately prayed for him and thanked him for his gift.” “I found myself trying not to feel anything so that I would be able to look at this human body objectively.” “When I first saw my donor, I imagined him as kindly grandfather.” “It was less scary than I had anticipated. When I touched her, she did not feel human.” “I felt as if I was about to cry.” “The first time I saw my donor I shuddered. She was ‘too human’ in a way. She still had nail polish on. I wondered what she was like in life, if she was happy, if she had ac- complished everything she wanted, and if she really understood what we were going to do to her.” A service of gratitude42 What are you doing with your anatomy clothes? “I am keeping my anatomy scrubs — after I wash them, of course.” “I wore my anatomy clothes to o

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