Ultimate Gift Honored at Stritch School of Medicine

News Archive December 14, 2009

Ultimate Gift Honored at Stritch School of Medicine

Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Students and Faculty Give Thanks as Gross Anatomy Class Concludes
After 10 weeks of intense study during gross anatomy class Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) students bid farewell to their most intimate and greatest teachers during a blessing ceremony where they gave thanks to those who gave the ultimate gift. “The men and women who dedicated their bodies to education have given you the opportunity to experience learning in a special way. Today, we gather to give thanks to God and them for all that you’ve learned these past weeks,” said Sister Brenda Eagen, director of SSOM Department of University Ministry. During the ceremony Father John O’Callaghan, S.J., asked God’s blessing on the bodies one last time. Shoulder-to-shoulder the students who together took this important step in medical education paused for a moment of silence and reflection. “Someone sometime ago, before you arrived at medical school, made a decision on your behalf and you became a benefactor of that gift from a total stranger,” said Dr. Fred Wezeman, director of the structure of the human body medical course. “The knowledge that you have as a result of that gift leaves this room with you, always remain appreciative of the gift.” The ceremony was an opportunity to give thanks to those who even in their death bring life to others through the education of future physicians. “These bodies are gifts of knowledge and I wonder if they knew that their gift would transform our lives and open a whole new chapter in our medical education,” said Mona Patel, first year medical student. “We all can say ‘thank you’ by applying the knowledge we have gained to help serve the many people we will encounter in our clinical practice.”
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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