Giving back an identity to donated cadavers
Indiana University Northwest's 56-student medical school is upending convention by seeking to compile cadaver biographies and cultivate relationships with survivors. Officials at the Gary, IN, school believe that exposing medical students to grieving relatives can enhance the human-relations skills of future physicians. Information from families also can augment medical knowledge. For instance, knowing a dead woman had suffered leg pain in life helped lead to the dissection-room diagnosis of a rare bone disorder. Doctors say they know of no other such medical-school program, though one other medical campus in Indiana is preparing to launch a program modeled on the one in Gary. The logistics of contacting a large number of families might make such a program unworkable at a large medical campus.
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