Where Do Cadavers at Med School Come From?

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Medical school is one of the most intense experiences in a doctor’s life. During this time, they have to take on a wealth of knowledge that could help them save lives while also having to go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt. One of the parts medical students seem most unsure about are cadavers used in class.

If you’re curious about where medical schools source their cadavers, this is everything you need to know! 

Body Donation Programs

The main way most medical schools gain access to cadavers is through body donation programs. These programs allow people to sign up as a donor while they’re still alive and rest assured that their bodies will help further science and medical care.

Most individuals who do this sign up for it far before they pass, and 

Unclaimed Bodies In Some Areas

Although this has been discontinued in some areas, like NYC, in many states, unclaimed bodies are used as part of the medical training process. These are individuals with no family or anyone to claim the body and body who could pick up the body from the coroner.

Unclaimed bodies are used to help further medical care and are often cremated afterward. This is a more respectful end-of-life situation than an unmarked grave for many.

Students learn about the individual through the facts their body offers, and this can allow the deceased to help one last time. 

Can I Donate My Body?

If you’re curious about whole-body donation: you’re not alone! Complete body donation gives you the opportunity for your body to help prepare medical students for life-saving tasks they’ll have to take on later. This also helps ensure they know the human body, can practice procedures on a person that won’t be harmed by it, and pass that knowledge on to the next generation of doctors.

Giving yourself a chance to further medicine and save lives after you no longer need your body is the ultimate final deed. 

There are some organizations that require specific health metrics to be met and some that won’t accept bodies if they’ve already been used for organ donation, so it’s a good idea to consider what service you’re interested in.

How and When Do I Sign Up For This?

To sign up for this, you need to look into which company or organization you want to donate to, and then you need to get a will written. Every state, and some cities, have different laws about what’s required for an end-of-life plan, so it’s vital that you do a little research before starting.

It’s also generally a good idea to let loved ones know that this is your plan. Although they may try to talk you out of it, it’s vital to let them know this is your wish and what it means to you.

Body Donations Will Always Be Incredible

Donating your body to science is one of the most selfless things you can do! This gives you the opportunity to continue touching lives after you’re gone, which is what most people want more than anything.

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