Tag Archives: Dissection

The Dutch anatomy lessons

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. 1632. Rembrandt van Rijn. Mauritshuis. The Hellenistic anatomist Herophilus (c. 330- c. 260 BC) and the physiologist Erasistratus (c. 325– c. 250 BC) were granted limited permission to dissect executed criminals with consent of the first Ptolemaic Pharaohs. This practice, […]

Antonio Benivieni, early anatomist and pathologist

De abditis, or Concerning some hidden and remarkable cases of diseases and cures. The Florentine Antonio Benivieni dissected corpses and recorded his findings some seventy years before Andreas Vesalius and even more so before Batista Morgagni. Yet though he has been called the “founder of pathology,” he never achieved the fame and recognition accorded to […]

Theme

DA VINCI AT 500 Published in December, 2019 H E K T O R A M A     .   The year 2019 celebrates the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest painters and polymaths of all time. Born near Florence in 1452, he moved to Milan at […]

Opening the left ventricle

This image is from Henry W. Cattell’s 1905 Post-mortem pathology; a manual of post-mortem examinations and the interpretations to be drawn therefrom; a practical treatise for students and practioners. It shows the approach for opening the left ventricle after the heart is removed from the body. Page from Postmortem pathology; a manual of the technic […]

Atlas of head sections

Sir William Macewen, pioneer of modern brain surgery, was born in western Scotland in 1848. In 1872 he graduated in medicine from the University of Glasgow, greatly influenced by Lord Lister. In 1875 he was appointed to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, first as assistant surgeon, and in 1877 as full surgeon. Continuing his career as […]

An interrupted dissection

The increasing interest in teaching anatomy by dissecting the human cadaver had a sordid side—the practice of body snatching, the illegal removal of corpses from graves, often by organized gangs of so-called resurrectionists. Body snatching was first recorded in Italy as early as the fourteenth century and as the centuries went on it became widespread […]

The female body dissected: Anatomy and John Keats

Niamh Davies-Branch Aberdeen, UK   A boiled gland with rose-like folds from Sir Astley Cooper’s Plates of the Anatomy of the Breast. Plates of the Anatomy of the Breast by Sir Astley Cooper in Sir Duncan Rice Library Special Collections, Aberdeen, UK John Keats, poet of the great odes, was also a surgical apprentice at […]

Learning anatomy in medical school

Peter H. Berczeller Dordogne, France   Dissection An excerpt from Dr. Peter Berczeller’s memoir, “The Little White Coat.”   On the second day of medical school, we were invited to meet the cadaver we would be working on for the next six months. I trooped up with the rest of the class into a large […]

Haunting poetic characteristics: the dissection scene from Dr. Zhivago

Timo Hannu Helsinki, Finland   Dissecting room from Edinburgh in 1889. Source: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images. Doctor Zhivago, a novel by the Russian poet Boris Pasternak, tells the story of physician-poet Yura Zhivago during the turmoil of the first decades of the twentieth century in Russia. The character of Dr. Zhivago is portrayed as […]

Why did Darwin drop out of medical school?

Richard Brown and Thalia Garvock-de Montbrun Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada   Plaque on the National Museum of Scotland where Darwin lived while studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh.  Erasmus Alvey (Ras) Darwin, the elder brother of Charles Darwin, completed six months of hospital training in Edinburgh in 1825-26 and then went to London to study at […]