Anatomical donations are essential for training medical professionals and to support clinical research. The Anatomical Gift Registry at the Medical College of Wisconsin maintains and allocates body donations to support a broad spectrum of educational and clinical research endeavors. The program supports the education and training of medical students, residents, postgraduate physicians, and healthcare professionals by preparing bodies, organs and tissues for study, dissection, and discovery.
The Medical College of Wisconsin’s Anatomical Gift Registry can be traced back to 1913 when the medical school was formally affiliated with Marquette University. The Gift Registry was established to provide body donors needed to sustain medical education. Over 9,000 whole body donations have been made, and thousands of people are registered with the program currently. We are proud to do our part by treating every body donor with the utmost respect and by utilizing their most precious gift to make lasting contributions to healthcare and science.
The learning of anatomy in medical school is a unique, irreplaceable and privileged part of a physician’s training. This rite of passage is something many medical students look forward to with trepidation and reflect back upon with awe and thanks. A donor’s gift is to students and through students -- to all the patients they will encounter during their practice of medicine. The medical students organize an annual memorial service where family and friends are invited to MCW for a ceremony to give thanks for those who were our teachers, and to pay respect to the selfless donors.
Todd Hoagland, PhD
Director, Anatomical Gift Registry
Medical College of Wisconsin