The Importance of Cadavers in Medical Training

It is very important that physicians possess particular skills; that they understand how human tissue will respond during medical treatments and surgical procedures. Med Ed Labs has been established with the intent of offering surgeons and other medical professionals the greatest opportunity to perfect their bio-skills in a way that is most like life. Numerous studies have confirmed that there is nothing like a human cadaver specimen to achieve this goal. We are proud to have the opportunity to provide an ideal laboratory setting for bio-skills training and cadaver medical training and are appreciative of the gift donor and families have given to the scientific and medical community.

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What are the benefits of using cadavers for medical training?

There are several reasons why human cadaver training is considered the gold standard in medical education.
Surgeons in training working on a cadaver

  • Learning is solidified by hands-on experience. Nomenclature and discussion are necessary, but there is nothing that can replace hands-on learning, especially for surgeons and healthcare professionals using medical techniques and devices. The cadaver lab is an active learning environment in which learning comes full-circle.
  • Every human body is different. This is intellectually understood, but they also need to be experiential teaching that allows medical personnel the opportunity to observe human tissue “up-close and personal.” Humans may share basic anatomy, but the appearance and responsiveness of that differ from one to another. The more familiar physicians are with the nuances of human tissue, the better their clinical practice can be.
  • First-hand encounters with the disease are vital to patient care. Cadaver training affords us the ability to observe a wide variety of pathology, such as tumor formations, in addition to normal anatomy.
  • Appreciation. Students of human cadaver labs often express that one of the most compelling takeaways of training is the appreciation they gained for donations to the medical community. Regardless of innovation in virtual reality, sentiments from students confirm that the future of healthcare relies on a comprehensive understanding of the human body in true form.

Cadaver Medical Training Testimonial

“Our experience with Med ED Labs has been nothing but excellent. The cadaver arrived at our school when they said it would and a representative from the organization was on site to help us prep for the lab. Our student experience was amazing as the main focus of our lab as airway management. Our educators ran the lab and the representative stayed on-site to help in case there were any issues. She worked with us to ensure the cadaver was packed in ice for the overnight stay and was on-site first thing the next day to help set up for the 2nd day of the lab. Once the 2nd day was complete a service arrived promptly to ship the cadaver back.
I was very reluctant about how the whole experience would go, however after our first time we immediately saw the value in our relationship with MED ED LABS. It added so much to our student experiences that we will be hosting 4-5 labs annually.”


Where do you get your cadavers?

Many people desire to leave a last parting gift to improve medical and surgical education and training by donating their body as a lasting gift to a whole body donation program. These selfless people and their families make it possible to have donors for future surgical and medical training.

A table of surgical tools and a hand with surgical gloves on with the text

What aspects make for the best cadavers for medical training?

All cadaver models have educational merit because they allow observation of anatomical structure. However, fresh human cadaver tissue is ideal due to the realistic experience it provides. Fresh human tissue has not been preserved and therefore has not become inflexible or damaged. When tissue is not preserved, there is a better opportunity to encounter the nuances that may occur during a live surgical or medical procedure.

Our clients’ needs are important to us, which is why we have a team that is dedicated to the procurement of the best cadaver specimen available. We are able to achieve this through the professional relationships we have established with accredited tissue banks.


What are some alternatives to using cadavers?

A group of surgeons performing cadaver trainingIn recent years, the educational environment has subtly shifted away from the use of human cadaver tissue and toward alternative teaching methods such as textbooks, video presentations, and, most recently, virtual reality software.

Anthropologist Chris Ruff, Ph.D. has been the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution for more than thirty years. He describes the reason for cadaver training as such: “It’s to learn something that you’re going to use all the time . . . Even if people did almost as well on written tests by reading a book and looking at a computer, I don’t think they’d be as good doctors without this experience.”

The medical community treats real people. Real human bodies. Therefore, training should involve the human aspect of medicine.

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If you’re interested in learning more about our cadaver medical training please contact us today at  (888) 801-9444. or fill out our contact us form below. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.

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