Stritch School of Medicine Students and Faculty Give Thanks for Ultimate Gift

News Archive October 19, 2009

Stritch School of Medicine Students and Faculty Give Thanks for Ultimate Gift

Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Gives Blessing as Gross Anatomy Class Begins
Gross anatomy class is a rite of passage for all medical students, but at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) it’s so much more. Deeply-rooted in the Catholic tradition and Jesuit heritage, the entree into gross anatomy is a time for reflection on the sanctity of life. As the first year students prepared to enter the anatomy lab for the first time a dedication and blessing ceremony was held to honor those who have donated their bodies to the education of SSOM students. “Our medical center’s mission is inscribed in its mission statement: we believe in God’s presence in all our work. Apply that to what you begin today as you work in the laboratory,” said University Ministry Chaplain Jack O’Callaghan during the blessing ceremony. “Loving God, we ask you to gift us with reverence for these bodies as we work with them, and with keen understanding of what they have to teach us.” The ceremony also was an opportunity to give thanks to those who even in their death bring life to others through the education of future physicians. “There is no greater gift, no larger measure of support than to give one’s own body. These people who have gifted their bodies to us must have had a great deal of faith in us,” said Colette Harrington, first-year medical student. “To receive such a profound gift should not only garner our respect, but spur us on to excellence in our pursuit to help others.”
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is located in a state-of-the-art educational facility on the campus of Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood. The school, which provides instruction to 520 medical students, has been in the vanguard of institutions that have created new, active learning curricula to help students meet the challenges of 21st century health care. An estimated 8,000 to 9,000 students compete each year for 130 openings in the Stritch medical school's first-year class. In addition to the more than 500 students, Loyola's medical educational programs provide instruction and training to an estimated 400 residents and 100 fellows.
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