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On March 1, the Class of 2022 and members of the dental and medical communities came together in Jaharis Auditorium for a moving ceremony in tribute to the donors to the clinical anatomy labs and to express gratitude to their families. In the presence of more than 200 people, Dr. Paul Kwan, Course Director of the Anatomy Labs and Associate Professor of Medical Education at Tufts University School of Medicine, opened the Service by honoring and paying respects to those who donated their bodies in service to science and health professional education.

“You the families and your loved ones have provided the gift that has allowed our dental students to learn about the complexity and amazing anatomy of the craniofacial region,” said Dr. Nadeem Karimbux, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, during his welcoming remarks, expressing heartfelt appreciation to these benefactors. “All [the students’] journeys began here with this amazing learning experience, and they will always look back and be grateful to you the families and your loved ones.”

Class President Romina Aznavaleh, D22, echoed this sentiment by expressing gratitude on behalf of the Class of 2022 and emphasized that the donors believed in something so much larger than themselves. Nancy Marks, TUSDM Community Service Learning Coordinator, read a moving poem, “For My Father,” in honor of her father who himself was an organ donor. Palak Patel, D22 Class Treasurer, An An, D22, and Romina Aznavaleh, D22, performed musical tributes.

At a time when some schools have abandoned these types of anatomy programs, Tufts remains committed. When students first begin dental school, such direct study of human anatomy, Dean Karimbux explained, is a sobering experience, reinforcing the seriousness of entering the dental profession; it can often be “life-changing.” Students will be forever grateful to the donors and their family members.

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