Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And for my next trick...

Today we sawed our cadaver in half. Outside of becoming a magician I never thought I'd had the opportunity to saw a person in half. 

It was surprisingly easy since we'd emptied out the abdominal cavity last week. I think another course is going to be dissecting one of the legs, so we also split the lower half through the pelvis (seeing a spinal column in sagittal section is very interesting. Actually seeing a lot of stuff in person is very interesting and it is remarkable how somethings look just like the book and how a lot of others look nothing like the book (generally the vasculature, ie: what is this small brown squishy tube??).

This course goes into so much more detail than an autopsy does, so this is my first time seeing a lot of the structures in situ outside of my textbooks. I love blunt dissection! I might be getting a bit of a reputation among my group mates because I'm a big fan of just getting in there with my hands and going to work.

Our first gross anatomy test and practical are on Monday and I'm pretty sure I've heard everyone in my class despair of failing it at least once today. But we actually stayed after lab for a few hours and reviewed a lot of the structures we would expect to see on the practical. And, at the student's request, the TAs and course directors are setting up a practice practical this weekend where there will be multiple stations with pinned structures where we can go in during certain times and test ourselves.

It will be a long week and a long weekend of studying. But hopefully it will pay off. I'm learning a lot. It has been really neat to finally realize why it was that the pathologists could tell a gastric biopsy apart from a colon biopsy even when they aren't labeled. Or to see where a vaginal fornix is after having gotten biopsies from there for ages. Having worked with the tissues it is good to know things about them other than where they come from in general.


  1. Sawing humans in half, that really is interesting. What do you guys do for Halloween?

  2. Determining the difference between a gastric bx and a colon bx is fairly simple: Look for chief cells and/or parietal cells upon staining. That's your gastric bx. And if an HP stain was done, you might see H. pylori organisms (gastric bx).

  3. NP Odyssey, ha! For Halloween we're actually pretty low key, but I will say that dinner conversation can get a little graphic.

    Anonymous, I know that now! It is strange to realize that I've done thousands of GI biopsies and not known until recently what the differences are.