Meet the Director of the Anatomy Lab at OUWB, and the Medical Students “First Patients”

College students of the William Beaumont College of Drugs on the College of Auckland all the time keep in mind “affected person primary” and because the faculty’s launch, Dan Schlegel has been a significant participant in these relationships.

the rationale?

Schlegel has labored as an anatomy laboratory at OUWB since its inception in 2011.

He’s answerable for the care of the laboratory and the donors – on this context, this primarily means individuals who made the choice earlier than loss of life to donate their our bodies to science in order that medical college students may research and really perceive the buildings throughout the human physique.

It is a distinctive operate that Schlegel says usually elicits considered one of two reactions.

“Individuals are both very and ask a variety of questions,” he says with a smile. “Or they’re form of slowly again off.”

Regardless, Schlegel says he by no means forgets what the job is basically about.

“For me, it is all about working with college students and college to assist construct future medical doctors,” he says.

Those that work intently with Schlegel say his dedication to the position is evident.

“Dan is doing an distinctive job,” says Mali Parmkala, affiliate professor within the Division of Basis Medical Research and director of the physique donation program at OUWB.

“Over time he has been instrumental in supporting OUWB’s post-mortem applications, and we affectionately name him ‘Dan the Man’.”

I used to be somewhat hesitant

In his administrative position, Schlegel works instantly with school at OUWB to make sure that college students have what they want in the case of finding out anatomy within the lab. As well as, it helps the College of Auckland bodily remedy applications, which additionally use the laboratory.

His obligations embody not solely transporting and making ready donors, however guaranteeing that college students have all of the tools they want, sustaining and sustaining the complete area to the best requirements of hygiene, and following all guidelines. For instance, college students are prohibited from taking photos within the lab.

Schlegel says his day-to-day work within the lab is guided by two rules: the necessary position donors play in serving to college students be taught, and the necessity to preserve respect.

Picture of Dan Schlegel talking to students
Schlegel talks in regards to the Anatomy Lab Guidelines for the OUWB Class of 2026 throughout orientation in August.

“The donors basically donate themselves earlier than loss of life…they provide every little thing they’ll to teach the scholars,” he says. “We respect donors as sufferers…simply because they cannot hear you or reply does not imply we deal with them any much less.”

In fact, the massive query is: How does one turn out to be a director of a medical faculty anatomy lab?

For Schlegel, it began when he was an undergraduate on the College of Auckland, pursuing a bachelor’s diploma in well being sciences.

Throughout that point, within the mid-2000s, Schlegel had his first expertise with donors. It was totally different from the expertise medical college students had as a result of anatomical specimens had been taboo (really dissected by extra skilled anatomists).

Nevertheless, the expertise helped construct his consolation stage working with physique donors. The truth that he was all the time “scientific-minded” helped.

“As a pupil, I used to be somewhat hesitant the primary time they pulled donors in first lab class…however I’ve by no means been squeamish,” he says. “I used to be extra fascinated with figuring out how issues labored.”

Quickly, Schlegel was serving to others learn the way issues work as a instructing assistant to Mary P., Ph.D., affiliate professor, Faculty of Well being Sciences.

When he had the chance to hitch OUWB in 2011, he took the chance.

It was a month earlier than OUWB welcomed its chartered class of fifty college students.

‘They’re extra snug’

For the primary two semesters, the OUWB Anatomy Lab was within the basement of the College of Auckland Math and Science Middle. Schlegel stated the scenario was lower than excellent as a result of the area had no home windows, the loading dock was throughout the corridor, air flow was poor, and there have been different points.

One of many largest issues, he stated, was that the donors needed to be moved each time there was a semester.

That every one modified in 2013, when the lab was moved to the third ground of Hannah Corridor on the College of Auckland after an entire redesign of the area that now homes the anatomy lab.

The restricted laboratory now has 37 devoted donor tables, every outfitted with a particular air flow system and a pc. The dimensions and structure of the lab permits college students to maneuver freely and never really feel cramped in a small area. Home windows line the partitions, making a shiny environment.

Schlegel says his favourite a part of the job is seeing the scholars’ growth in how they deal with donors.

“At first of the semester, among the college students could be fairly (hesitant), however on the finish of the semester they’re fully immersed,” he says. “Then they return to the second semester and are extra snug.”

Barremkala says having alum OU’s lab is useful.

“He has data of the OU’s campus and amenities and is utilizing this successfully for a well-functioning lab,” he says.

Schlegel additionally goes above and past to assist preserve college students heading in the right direction.

“Dan was considered one of only a few employees members who labored personally all through the pandemic and performed a key position in introducing the laboratory part of the AFCP (Anatomical Foundations of Scientific Follow) course,” says Parmkala.

Trying to the long run, Schlegel says he is excited that OUWB has just lately began its personal physique donation program. To this point, OUWB has labored with different establishments such because the College of Toledo to acquire donor our bodies, that are then returned to high school on the finish of the yr for cremation and return to the household.

“We’ll have extra management over the embalming course of, donor choice standards, and direct contact with households, making it somewhat simpler to get the required medical data,” he says. “It is actually thrilling.”

For extra data, contact Andrew Dietderich, Advertising Author, OUWB, at

To request an interview, go to the OUWB Communications & Advertising webpage.

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