Tag Archives: Dissection

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 […]

Anatomy before Vesalius

Not until about 1300 were human bodies dissected for teaching and learning anatomy. In those days, dissecting a cadaver was an especially unpleasant business. Since there was no refrigeration, it was necessary to dissect the most perishable parts first—beginning with the abdominal cavity, then the thorax, and finally the head and the extremities. A dissection […]

Dissecting Cadavers: Learning Anatomy or a Rite of Passage?

Emmanuelle Godeau Toulouse, France   In many medical schools, dissection of cadavers remains an essential component of the curriculum, even though surveys from the past 50 years have shown this is not the most efficient way of learning anatomy. Yet the persistence of dissections suggests a different role: a rite of passage and creating an […]