Yale Condemns 'Disturbing' Medical Selfie Amid Training

Dentistry professor, students posed with severed heads
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 5, 2018 7:16 PM CST
'Disturbing' Dentistry Selfie Causes a Stir at Yale

(Newser) – Graduate dental school students and a top University of Connecticut orthodontics professor took a selfie with two severed heads used for medical research at a training workshop at Yale University last year—an episode Yale officials called "disturbing" and "inexcusable." The selfie was taken in June at the Yale School of Medicine during the 2017 DePuy Synthes Future Leaders Workshop, which focused on dental-related facial deformities. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the photo from a person who received it through a private group chat. The people in the photograph include Dr. Flavio Uribe, an assistant professor and orthodontics program director at UConn Health and a visiting associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine.

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In the photo, Uribe and several graduate students are looking at the camera, while others continue to work. The two severed heads are on tables, face up. Uribe said he was teaching students how to place screws in the cadaver heads when "somebody unfortunately took a photo." Officials at Yale and UConn said the universities have taken steps to ensure it doesn't happen again. Yale officials said they are improving oversight at training events and making participants agree in writing to ethical standards of conduct. "The photograph taken at a symposium at Yale was disturbing and an inexcusable deviation from anything Yale would expect to occur," said a spokesman. Medical students and professionals taking inappropriate photos is nothing new. Schools and hospitals across the country now have social media policies about what can and cannot be posted online.

(Read more Yale University stories.)

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