The long-standing tradition of Cadaver Ball emerged in the early ’80s, when fourth-year medical students began throwing a yearly celebration for first years who had just completed gross anatomy lab.
Decades later, the gala is now a time-honored, black-tie event, officially organized each year by a student committee and logistically supported by the Office of Medical Student Affairs.
Imagine yourself at the Ball…
Held each year traditionally after Match Day, it’s one of the only annual events that gathers the entire medical student body. In fact, faculty, staff, and VUMC department heads often join in the celebration.
With hundreds of people in attendance, the event is always one of the best memories— and best photo opportunities! —of the medical school year.
- Start the night off right with a cocktail reception, chatting with your friends and faculty as they arrive.
- Sit down to a catered dinner, complete with musical entertainment.
- Show off your artistic side through student-led performances from groups like VUSM’s own VMS Dance and Radial Grooves.
- Celebrate the humorous moments of medical school with class skits, orchestrated by the class chairs on the planning committee.
- Cheer for the dedicated faculty who’ve impacted your medical education. This celebration is where M4 students present the annual Shovel Award, the highest honor a faculty member can receive from their students.
- Dance your heart out with your friends on the dance floor with a DJ playing late into the night.
Whether you’re attending the Ball for the first or fourth time, you’ll experience firsthand the thriving wellness culture that sets the VUSM experience apart.