Student Spotlight

Elise Martin, OMS II

Class of 2022

  • Hometown: Tyler, TX
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from University of Texas - Austin. Additional degrees: Masters of Science degree in Medical Science from the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
  • Clubs and Activities: Member of the American Medical Women's Association and the OB/GYN Club.

Why did you choose RVUCOM? Having lived in Texas my entire life, I wanted to go to medical school outside of the state.  RVUCOM-SU...
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Faculty Spotlight

Brooks Beal, DO

Assistant Professor of Primary Care

  • Hometown: Dublin, CA
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.
  • Graduate Studies: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Touro University Nevada.

What class/classes do you teach? I teach both years of Primary Care Medicine. Why did you choose to teach...
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Anatomy Lab


RVU’s anatomy lab is a point of great pride. At 4,500 square feet, it is spacious, bright, and welcoming. Unlike other medical schools which often house the dissection lab in the basement, RVU’s anatomy lab is located on the third floor of the campus, with one wall of windows overlooking the Rocky Mountains. There are 21 tanks for students, as well as two tanks for Fellows and two for track and Military Medicine students.

The ventilation system–designed with valuable input by Dr. Walter Buck, Chair of Gross Anatomy–is innovative and unique: it brings in outside air and either chills or heats it to maintain a consistent 63 degrees in the lab at all times, rather than recycling air throughout the building. This allows not only the lab, but the building itself, to smell fresh at all times, providing a better dissection experience for students.

At the front of the lab, printed in large letters, is the phrase: “Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae.” This translates to, “This is the place where the dead rejoice to come to the aid of the living,” a poignant philosophy that is pressed upon all students who have the privilege of working with the bodies of donors.



Anatomy Case

Located outside of the anatomy lab, there is a glass case containing bones, skulls, and other specimens–all from Dr. Buck’s private collection. The case itself was a gift from the foundation created by the parents of Brandon Trusell, a student who tragically passed away while attending RVU.


Predoctoral Anatomy Fellowship

The Predoctoral Anatomy Fellowship program is designed to take the study of anatomy to the next level and to provide students with the necessary tools for teaching or applying anatomical research in their careers. The Fellows have the opportunity to dissect a second body (the first having been with a group of 8 other students during their first year), allowing them to obtain deeper knowledge of the structure and function of the human body. They also tutor other students (including fellow tutors), lecture, conduct research, and present at conferences.


20150508_DonorMemorialCeremony (42)Donor Memorial Ceremony

The Donor Memorial Ceremony is an annual tradition, beginning in 2012. It is a time to honor those who donated their bodies for medical purposes, allowing the students to gain a better understanding of anatomy. During the ceremony, first-year students express their gratitude in a variety of ways: singing, dancing, reading their thoughts and poems, playing instruments, and more.


Special Programs

The anatomy lab has worked with a variety of organizations and programs:

  • AIRLIFE Denver: since 2008, AIRLIFE Denver has received access to the cadavers for the purpose of training and recertifying their EMTs. Approximately 40-50 EMTs participate in the program each year. The organization has described the opportunity as “invaluable as it allows us to train in lifesaving emergency procedures…being able to perform these procedures on cadavers allow a training opportunity that is second to none.”
  • Chaparral High School’s Pre-Med Program: this allows students who are interested in a career in medicine through lectures and visits to the anatomy lab.
  • Medical Academy of Science and Health (MASH) Camp: this is an annual event which provides hands-on medical experience to high school students.
  • Regis Women in Science
  • Rock Canyon High School