Cadaver dissection Watch

Affliction
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What are the advantages?
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ukmed108
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(Original post by Affliction)
What are the advantages?
1. You can say you did cadaver dissection and impress your friends.
2. Tradition
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Affliction
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(Original post by ukmed108)
1. You can say you did cadaver dissection and impress your friends.
2. Tradition
Haha trivia aside, what are some serious advantages, perhaps in terms of your development as a future doctor?
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Annie72
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I'm not a medic, but having dissected a pigs heart at college, I found it brought to life (pardon the pun) what we had been learning about.
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ukmed108
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(Original post by Affliction)
Haha trivia aside, what are some serious advantages, perhaps in terms of your development as a future doctor?
Honestly, having done dissection not much if comparing it to prosection. Some trivial benefits include getting a real feel for the human body and how it is organized, noting variations between different people.

If you are interested in surgery there may be that getting a feel for the different instruments, looking for anatomical structures.

I guess fundamentally you care more about the anatomy because you actually spend time with the cadaver and you put effort into dissecting it and it is always positive for your learning to take the theoretical pictures you see in textbooks and actually see them for yourself in real life.

If you are comparing dissection to nothing at all, then there are major benefits.
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username1149337
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I guess closeness to death and learning how to deal with that would be an advantage.
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(Original post by Annie72)
I'm not a medic, but having dissected a pigs heart at college, I found it brought to life (pardon the pun) what we had been learning about.
(Original post by ukmed108)
Honestly, having done dissection not much if comparing it to prosection. Some trivial benefits include getting a real feel for the human body and how it is organized, noting variations between different people.

If you are interested in surgery there may be that getting a feel for the different instruments, looking for anatomical structures.

I guess fundamentally you care more about the anatomy because you actually spend time with the cadaver and you put effort into dissecting it and it is always positive for your learning to take the theoretical pictures you see in textbooks and actually see them for yourself in real life.

If you are comparing dissection to nothing at all, then there are major benefits.
(Original post by RadioheadHermie)
I guess closeness to death and learning how to deal with that would be an advantage.
Thanks a lot for your opinions!
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Someone123123
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Speaking from personal experience, I didn't find there was as much to gain from it as I had initially thought. We had prosections about as well as dissecting and the prosections were obviously better dissected, much cleaner and more representative and therefore better to learn from. Dissection I found wasted time for no good reason (without being disrespectful to the cadavers), and I really didn't see any advantage when compared to the prosections, except maybe getting an appreciation of the layers of the body and how deep some structures can be. With regards to surgical skills/tools, because the cadaver is not alive (and there's no risk of killing..) I think you'll find technique goes out of the window after a few hours (to get to the structure within your time limit), so I don't think you should think of surgical skills as an advantage at all - surgical skills will be taught later in med school.

As someone above rightly pointed out it also depends what you're comparing dissection to. If you're comparing it to nothing, then ofcourse it's more advantageous. If you're comparing it to prosections, I'm really not so sure. In short I didn't find anything overly advantageous about it, and I would think twice about going to medical school X over Y purely because of dissection.

The above are my opinions only ofcourse and I'm sure other people have different opinions..
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Affliction
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(Original post by Someone123123)
Speaking from personal experience, I didn't find there was as much to gain from it as I had initially thought. We had prosections about as well as dissecting and the prosections were obviously better dissected, much cleaner and more representative and therefore better to learn from. Dissection I found wasted time for no good reason (without being disrespectful to the cadavers), and I really didn't see any advantage when compared to the prosections, except maybe getting an appreciation of the layers of the body and how deep some structures can be. With regards to surgical skills/tools, because the cadaver is not alive (and there's no risk of killing..) I think you'll find technique goes out of the window after a few hours (to get to the structure within your time limit), so I don't think you should think of surgical skills as an advantage at all - surgical skills will be taught later in med school.

As someone above rightly pointed out it also depends what you're comparing dissection to. If you're comparing it to nothing, then ofcourse it's more advantageous. If you're comparing it to prosections, I'm really not so sure. In short I didn't find anything overly advantageous about it, and I would think twice about going to medical school X over Y purely because of dissection.

The above are my opinions only ofcourse and I'm sure other people have different opinions..
Thanks a lot for that


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Angury
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(Original post by Someone123123)
Speaking from personal experience, I didn't find there was as much to gain from it as I had initially thought. We had prosections about as well as dissecting and the prosections were obviously better dissected, much cleaner and more representative and therefore better to learn from. Dissection I found wasted time for no good reason (without being disrespectful to the cadavers), and I really didn't see any advantage when compared to the prosections, except maybe getting an appreciation of the layers of the body and how deep some structures can be. With regards to surgical skills/tools, because the cadaver is not alive (and there's no risk of killing..) I think you'll find technique goes out of the window after a few hours (to get to the structure within your time limit), so I don't think you should think of surgical skills as an advantage at all - surgical skills will be taught later in med school.

As someone above rightly pointed out it also depends what you're comparing dissection to. If you're comparing it to nothing, then ofcourse it's more advantageous. If you're comparing it to prosections, I'm really not so sure. In short I didn't find anything overly advantageous about it, and I would think twice about going to medical school X over Y purely because of dissection.

The above are my opinions only ofcourse and I'm sure other people have different opinions..
I agree with this. I was really looking forward to dissection, it was one of the reasons I chose my medical school. It can be helpful to visualise structures, and make a subject which I find very dry a bit more practical, but I learnt a lot more from prosections.
A lot of the time we were left on our own to try and find structures using an atlas to guide us, which was fun in the beginning, but didn't really help our learning. At least with prosections, they are dissected by a professional and you know what you are looking at.

One advantage of cadaver dissection though is that it helps you confront the topic of death. Which is obviously something you'll have to get used to as a doctor.

Also, despite my negative view of dissection, a lot of my friends found it useful for studying anatomy. I guess it depends on the person; personally, I learnt more using prosections, an atlas and youtube videos.

People learn in different ways, but I don't think you'd be missing out if you chose a medical school that didn't offer dissection.
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seaholme
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I didn't find dissection particularly helpful. As people have said, you just get given a body, the tools to dissect it, and if you've brought one along, a book. It's enlightening to see how the body fits together and see the actual organs, but I think that prosections and actually just reading the anatomy books can help you with that. Most of my anatomical knowledge in the end is based on visualising how things looked in books or on models. I've never once had a flashback to dissection or thought 'oh yeah, that's what it looked like!', and am not convinced it helped me remember anything. It was just a very unusual life experience.
IMO models, prosections, that plastination type stuff and importantly 3D computer software would be ideal.

About the only thing where I think dissecting a cadaver > prosections is that you discover the secret life of fascia and some of the conceptual body cavities which can only be seen when you look at the body as a whole, I think. Generally fascia etc. is peeled off or generally hard to conceptualise on a prosection, because you can't see where it linked up to.

Perhaps it depends on you as a learner but, with the greatest of respect to the people who donated their bodies, I don't think it was a useful exercise for me. As mentioned by others, I don't think it's an essential opportunity to have or to make choices based on. If you do it, fine, if you don't then I don't think it will hinder your ability to learn anatomy, pursue a surgical career or whatever you want to do.
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