Corpses donated to medical students at Touro University

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As Nevada’s largest medical school and a division of an international university system, Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine offers a distinctive osteopathic approach.

They recently invited us into their anatomy lab, and we had the chance to chat with the students, the dean, and the CEO about the respect given to the students’ very first patients.

Second-year osteopathic medicine student Pranati Shah shares her experience of holding a scalpel for the first time.

“I was really nervous but also excited,” Shah said. The first moment she says she started her medical journey, inside the anatomy lab at Touro University in Nevada.

“We are all assigned to a particular corpse, which we work on, in groups of two to four,” Shah said.

No two bodies are the same, so students can study corpses from other groups.

These corpses are given to Touro, by the University of North Texas.

A direct learning gift from someone who has donated their body to science.

“It’s the foundation of medicine, learning all about muscles, bones, nerves, arteries, everything in the body, how everything is connected,” she added.

Shelley Berkley is the Principal Provost and CEO of Touro University of Nevada.

“It’s essential to their education, to their mission,” Berkley explained. “We believe in good faith that when they leave Touro and practice medicine, they will be the best providers possible.”

The learning achieved inside this state-of-the-art laboratory is a growth environment that advances students in all that they do.

Dr. Wolfgang Gilliar, Dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University of Nevada.

An anatomy lab that is ‘hands-on’ dissection is a right of passage, really a lab where you learn professionalism, dedication and how to be consistent, how to talk to your patients, all things we take for granted,” said Gilliar said.

At the end of the school year, students have the opportunity to thank the donor, during a “White Rose Donor Appreciation Ceremony”.

“Our time to give back and show our appreciation to the people who donated their bodies to us,” Shah said.

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