Reflections on life, death and the gift of learning

Medical students flex artistic muscles during anatomy instruction

By Tyler Francischine
drop cap letter S

Student Art Gallery

student art-staircase with medical heroes' names written on the steps that leads to the brain Medical student Haley Oberhofer creates artwork to reflect on her anatomy class.
student art-colorful piece showing human lungs and other organs Haley Oberhofer, class of 2021: “As I reflect upon the privilege of human dissection, I think it is akin to entering a new world. With every dissection, I am embarking on a new adventure in hopes to further my understanding of the human body.”
Student art-a body with writing coming from each organ. Brain: "What memories did this brain hold? What made them sad? What made them happy?" Lungs: "What made this person catch their breath?" Feet: "Where did these feet travel?" Heart: "Who did this person love? Who loved them?" Hands: "Who and what did these hands hold?" Emily Pregmon, class of 2021: “I was inspired by a letter we read from a loved one of someone who donated their body to our medical school. The writer asked us to not only try our hardest to learn everything we could from her loved one but also to remember the full and beautiful life experienced by the donor. Because of her letter, I wanted to make sure I always kept in mind the unique lives created by each muscle fiber, nerve and blood vessel we were studying.”
Student art-Colors ranging from black to light blue Dana Eyerly, class of 2021: “This piece was inspired by the unknown of dissecting a cadaver, as if the black strokes at the top represent the unknown anatomy we’ll discover below. As our knowledge and skills grow, those black strokes become lighter, until we find clarity and serenity with the anatomy of the human body.”
Student art-body laying down holding flowers with a word cloud inside the body. Words include: inspired, anxious, empowered, curious and humble Halle Goodwin, class of 2021: “The act of dissecting a human being for the purpose of learning is a privilege. The specific emotion it elicits varies from student to student based on their past experiences and personal beliefs, but we all are united in sharing this experience and having gratitude for those who have donated their bodies.”
Student art-Poem titled An Unconventional Afterlife: Once bright, colored, and flowing, Now stagnant, cold and grey. Your memory lingers. An delighted path remains. The inner-workings of life revealed, Like a new book carefully opened. My heart races as I lean in-A mind is forever changed over a body broken. Several years go by, It is now clear how a single choice saved lives. A once-glowing flame long extinguished, Yet its light is never diminished. Victoria Dukharan, class of 2022: “In anticipation of human dissection, I attempt to imagine how the donors might have lived.”