This year, teams of eight first-year medical students are taking part in an annual rite of passage: gross anatomy. They are dissecting human bodies donated through BUs anatomical gift program, familiarizing themselves with skin, muscles, organs, and bones in a way no textbook could match. Robert Bouchie (SMG92), BUs anatomical gift coordinator and anatomy lab manager, considers medical cadavers an aspiring doctors greatest teacher — and the embodiment of selflessness on the part of the donor. He encourages students to view the bodies as human beings worthy of the utmost respect, dignity, and honor. Bouchie leads by example. At the end of the anatomy course, he conducts an in-lab ceremony, helps students organize a memorial service for the families, and hand-delivers the cremated remains to the donors loved ones.
Sometimes the people who have the position that I have dont want to sensitize the students that this was a person, Bouchie says. They want the students to just view it as a vessel, as a tool. Im from the other side of the street.
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