Saturday, May 29, 2010

Book - Body of Knowledge

I was reading some book lists and came across this title and thought it might be worth a read. A journalist follows first year med students through their first semester of Gross Anatomy and follows the cadaver as well as the students through this process.

Being a bit of a "downer" kind of topic there wasn't much that was a surprise or exciting point in the book. It was an easy read just because of the completely bizarre practice (but completely necessary) of cutting up the cadaver and searching every part of it to gain a greater understanding.

The most interesting part to me was the variety of reactions from the students to the whole idea or to specific procedures that they were scheduled to perform on the cadaver. Some students wielded the scalpel with poise and maturity while others could barely look at their subject on those steel metal tables.

As someone who has never had to take an anatomy class it was interesting and gave me a tinge of remorse at not having been able to (or choosing to) take one in college. I think the benefits to understanding the human body can far out weight the uncomfortableness. That being said, I feel like I would want some ambitious lab partners who did more of the scalpel wielding than I would.

I had a discussion with someone the other day about how I really don't like worms. They asked if there was anything worse. I said probably snakes. I think that still stands in light of this book. So that should say something.

Also, I know people who intend to donate their bodies to science. I know once they die their gone and their bodies are no longer a part of them. However, it sure makes you think about those med students, and hoping they'll be as honored and respectful of the ultimate donation.