The human body is an invaluable and indispensable aid in medical education. A fundamental basis of all medical knowledge relates to a thorough understanding of human anatomy which can be learned only by a study of the human body. Each year, thousands of cadavers are needed for teaching medical, dental, and health related professions students. In the past, the majority of bodies used for anatomical study were those of unwanted and unclaimed indigents allocated by law to medical institutions. Today, however, most people can afford conventional funeral procedures, and there is government aid available for the few who need financial assistance. At a time when the demand for more trained physicians, dentists and health related professionals remains great in our state, the teaching supply of unclaimed bodies is severely reduced.
The Anatomical Gift Program was created in accordance with the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of Mississippi to provide human anatomical material for use in the education and research programs at UMMC and affiliated programs. This program is administered by and located in UMMC's Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences. The individual directly responsible for overseeing this program is designated as the director of the Anatomical Gift Program.