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New media: Dalhousie's Clinical Cadaver Program and Research by Dr. Anna MacLeod

Dalhousie's Faculty of Medicine recently highlighted their groundbreaking Clinical Cadaver Program, which works in partnership with the Dalhousie Human Body Donation Program. Also featured in this article, is the five-year research study on these programs led by Dr. Anna MacLeod. From the article:

"In a lab on the 14th floor of the Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building at Dalhousie University, four neatly prepared hospital beds await their next patients. These patients will not communicate what’s ailing them, nor react to a scalpel’s cut, or a needle’s prick. They can’t see, or breath. But because of them, countless lives will be saved.

These patients are clinical cadavers.

Not unlike a living, breathing, human, cadavers have a story. Etched on their faces are traces of a life full of laughter, or in some cases, pain and illness. Though their hearts no longer beat, you cannot remove the traces of humanity.

In existence for more than 150 years, the Dalhousie University Human Body Donation Program accepts bodies from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. These donations are critical to providing future healthcare practitioners with the knowledge they need to be successful in their careers.


Dr. Anna MacLeod is Director of Education Research and Unit Head for Research in Medicine (RIM). She has been a social sciences researcher for over a decade, with the last five years spent researching the clinical cadaver program. She says of all the projects she’s ever worked on, nothing has captured her attention and interest from both an academic and personal perspective like this one.

“What was most striking was how deliberate, careful, and respectful the people are who work in the program,” she says. “And how committed they are not just to making sure that people's loved ones are treated with care and compassion, but also to make sure to offer a deeply engaging and meaningful educational experience.” You can read more about the programs and our team's research, here.


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