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There’s a Shortage of Cadavers for Surgeons to Practice

Not enough people are donating their bodies to science, and this is affecting surgeons’ ability to hone their skills by practicing on cadavers, according to professors at the University of Gothenburg’s Surgical Anatomical Training Center in Sweden.

What to know:

  • Surgeons’ ability to practice and learn surgical techniques are being limited by the lack of cadavers available to them.

  • The shortage is particularly affecting the ability to maintain skills in trauma surgery and new, advanced operative techniques such as robot-assisted surgery and CT (computer tomography) navigation surgery.

  • In many cases, the University of Gothenburg, which flagged the issue, says that lack of bodies has kept them from teaching some important surgical courses.

  • While many people have a positive attitude toward organ donations, few know that you can also donate your whole body to promote better medical education, research, and healthcare.

  • In whole-body donation, you can specify which higher education institution will receive your body when you die and that they can use your body in teaching medical students and in skills training for surgeons.

This is a summary of the article, “Surgeons need more bodies to practice on” published by The University of Gothenburg on April 28, 2022. The full article can be found on

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