PEORIA  – The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria will hold its first-ever Donor Memorial Service to honor and pay respect to those who have donated their bodies in the benefit of medical student education at UICOMP.

Second-year UICOMP students will pay homage by writing cards to donors’ family members. The program will also include the reading of class reflections, a faculty address, and performances by the medical student groups, Docapella and Musicians in Medicine. Information about the donors, provided by their respective family members, will be displayed during the ceremony. The event, which is open to students and faculty only, is an effort to thank donors and their families.

“Gross anatomy and the dissection of a human cadaver is a longstanding tradition in medical education and would not be possible without the donation made by these individuals,” said Dr. Meenakshy Aiyer, UICOMP Chair of Academic Affairs. “Medical students often never forget the experience and consider the cadaver to be their first patient.”

A gross anatomy lab was built on the UICOMP campus in 2017 to accommodate expansion with the addition of first-year medical students. After the completion of the gross anatomy course, where first-year medical students dissect a human cadaver, students will hold an annual memorial service to honor that gift.

Cadaveric dissection at UICOMP is possible only through whole body donations made by those individual donors to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois (AGA). For more information regarding whole body donation, please contact the AGA at agaillinois.org. While UICOMP does not directly take bodies for donation, the AGA does accept donor requests to be directed to a specific institution, such as UICOMP.