Recognizing "the Greatest Teachers"

Student speaking at Anatomical Gift Program memorial service.

During UB's annual memorial services in honor of donors to the Anatomical Gift Program, medical, dental and nursing students reflect on the indispensable lessons they learned from their "greatest teachers." 

While in medical school at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Jeffrey North, MD '03, penned a poem about the meaningful impact that anatomical gift donations had made on his education.

Over the years, Dr. North's poem has been read at memorial services across the country to recognize the selfless anatomical gifts made to programs like UB's.

"The Greatest Teachers" by Jeffrey North, MD '03

The greatest teachers we could ever ask for 

Were once among you and me. 

Walking the streets, going to work, 
Making a living, living a life,
Probably very rarely thinking 
About all that we would learn from them.
The greatest teachers we could ever ask for
Were once a friend to many.

Sharing a laugh, sharing a memory,
Sharing personal details,
Things that only the best of friends know.
Sharing a love, sharing a life, and sharing a soul
With the one they care most about.

The greatest teachers we could ever ask for 
Never even knew any of us,
Yet had the courage, and the willingness
To be there for us, no matter how early or late.

They shared with us all we could ever ask for,
And we were eager to dive in,
And find out all there is to know.

The greatest teachers we could ever ask for
Were people we don't even know, 
But ones we know everything about.

They will forever be with us,
Still teaching and reminding us every step of the way.

They were more than notes, or lectures, or presentations.
They were the greatest people that we will have ever met.
May God bless each of their souls, and all of their families.
I thank every one of them 
For the greatest gift one could ever give.