General Anatomy Lab and Clinical Anatomy and Imaging Labs (CAIL)
- In the anatomy lab, students perform cadaver dissections, view cadaver pro-sections, interact with anatomic models, and use 3D computer software to achieve the required learning objectives.
- In Phase 1, students also participate in specialized sessions called Clinical Anatomy and Imaging Labs (CAIL) that provide them opportunities to apply anatomical knowledge to clinical procedures, such as knee and shoulder arthroscopy, intubation, chest tube placement, joint injections, fracture repair, and bronchoscopy using donors and surgical equipment from the facility’s Surgical Skills Training Center.
At the end of Phase 1 of the curriculum, students design and direct the Anatomical Donor Convocation of Gratitude, a program honoring the donors and their invited family members.
Anatomy Reflections: Student Projects
At the end of a student’s first year, each student completes a creative project that reflects upon their experience with anatomical donor dissection. Many of the projects are displayed as at the Anatomy Donor Convocation of Gratitude and selected projects are published in a booklet that is given to the families attending the Donor Convocation.
“It was incredibly humbling to know that the ribs I was feeling had a whole lifetime of protecting this person’s heart, that the hands had been a tool for both hard work and handholding, and that the feet had carried him around on many adventures.”
“As I returned to our corner—day after day—you revealed to me the very essence of life. You revealed what it meant to be human and alive.”
“We had been learning what constitutes a life—the heart, brain, bones, muscles, cells… but this moment reminded me that living is more than the sum of our body’s parts.”
“Perhaps it was a small tattoo, a surgical scar, or maybe an anatomical anomaly—small clues into the tragedies and triumphs, the laughter and sorrows, of our teacher’s life. Small flowers of humanity remaining to guide us in our journey.”
“The day came, however, when we decided to look at the face of our person… It was a reminder that he had lived, had a story, and that what we were doing was a privilege.”
Virginia State Anatomical Program (VSAP)Learn More »
Established in 1919, the Virginia State Anatomical Program (VSAP) is the only program in Virginia authorized to receive donations of human bodies for scientific study.
The primary mission of VSAP is to educate health professionals by providing human donors for the teaching of anatomy and surgery and medical research to the State’s medical schools, colleges, universities and research facilities