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Health Team

UNC students study cadavers; Meet with family members

Posted January 28, 2010 5:35 p.m. EST
Updated January 28, 2010 6:43 p.m. EST

— It's an unforgettable moment for physicians when they study a cadaver in anatomy class. Doctors say it is an invaluable source for learning that can’t be gained any other way.

It is a tradition for first-year medical students at the University of North Carolina to meet with the subject’s families and express appreciation.

“Everyone, at some point, saw that this was more than just clinical science and really connected with the humanity,” student Jacob Wang said.

Family members said Francis Jacklyn Osmann was one-of-a-kind.

“My mom was a nurse. She was a veteran of World War II,” her son Rick Osmann said. “She cared very much about people.”

Osmann was one of Francis’ seven children. They were willing to be a part of the service and to meet with the students.

“We actually talked to the students who had my mom as a subject -- two young ladies who were very bright and very dedicated to service,” Osmann said.

The conversations eased their concerns about their mother's body, and about their decision to help carry out her wish.

“It's what she wanted, and it was a gift, and I was glad to be able to help her give that,” Osmann said.

Student Nancy Wang said the day forever changed her as a doctor-in-training and as an individual.