All of last year, the anatomy department of JJ Hospital conducted several special training sessions and workshops.
Notably, their teaching quality had improved drastically. The reason: Body donations had almost doubled last year.
Eighty bodies were donated to the hospital in 2010, the highest number donated to the hospital till date. The number of donations were 47 in 2009 and 37 in 2008.
“Increased awareness among people has helped us improve medical education at the college. We now conduct several cadaveric hands-on workshops and special training sessions that are not a part of the curriculum,” said Dr Suresh Gangane, head of the anatomy department, JJ Hospital.
Lessons are not limited to students of JJ Hospital. Dr Pravin Shingare, joint director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), said the hospital has conducted workshops for doctors across the city.
“I had to conduct my first suture on a live patient in 1979. Today, students would be more confident after they graduate as they have practised on a cadaver. We allow unlimited number of doctors including experienced doctors to come to the workshops to practise innovative techniques,” Shingare said.
The number of body donation registrations in JJ Hospital almost tripled in 2010. While 253 people registered themselves in 2008, the number rose to 283 in 2009.
In 2010, 619 registrations were made at JJ Hospital, the highest so far.
“However, convincing people or their relatives to donate bodies isn’t easy. After relatives donate bodies, they are sometimes looked down upon in their community,” said Suresh Tambe, secretary of the Maharshi Dadhichi Dehdan, an NGO dedicated to body donations.
The numbers of donations at JJ Hospital are higher than in most medical colleges in the city. While KEM Hospital receives an average of one body a month, Nair Hospital gets one in two months.
Dr Gangane said JJ Hospital has more students than other hospitals and thus accepts donations without limitations unlike other medical colleges.