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Students Pay Tribute to Their First Patients During Convocation of Thanks

The Annual Event Featured Reflections, Musical Performances, Artwork, and Poetry

May 06, 2024
Convocation of Thanks 2024

One student described the knowledge gained in the first year of medical school as representative of some of the most important seeds of medical education. “The clinical skills that we will gain would not be possible without an understanding of the layout of the human body. We are wholly indebted to the ultimate seed, the origin to which all medical knowledge and advancement can be credited, those donors who humbly offered themselves, exchanging privacy for vulnerability, so that the next generation of physicians and scientists could be trained. From this generation and those in the future will spring forth advancements that will better help those suffering from ailments and diseases currently seen as hopeless.”

 Another student shared a beautiful original musical composition she had written, “Hold on Tightly to Your Love,” about the grieving process, in which she encouraged all to “love people in your life and those no longer with you.”

An SLP student created a lovely painting of a lavender plant, called “Seeds of Knowledge.” In describing it, she said, “Lavender signifies love and devotion. For me, this represents the love and devotion that was graciously extended to us to enhance our knowledge, and I’d like to thank you all for planting these seeds and allowing our knowledge to grow.”

“The selfless act of our donor provided an invaluable gift to us as health care providers,” said a medical student. “He granted us the opportunity to learn about the complexity and individuality of the human body. He served as our first patient but also our teacher. Without donors like him, we simply would not have been able to gain the same appreciation and understanding of anatomy. His legacy will live on through every student he helped educate and every patient we have the privilege of caring for going forward.”

“The anatomy lab was my first experience in medical school. I was curious to know if this path was right for me,” shared another student. “When we began studying the human body and learning about the inspiring lives of our donors that's when I knew I found my calling. It was a fascinating journey that instilled in me a deep appreciation for the complexity and wonder of life. They are, in a way, our first patients, the ones from whom we learn the most. My donor’s final act of selflessness in a life already devoted to service and kindness is truly inspiring.”

The event was made even more meaningful when the family and friends of the donors had the opportunity to express their thanks to the students and speak about their loved ones and the lives they had led.

Outside Nevin Auditorium, ceramic tiles were on display, painted by first-year medical students in honor of their donors, which included special details based on their unique lives. The event concluded with a memorial tree planting on campus.