By Wessam Ibrahim
Learning Anatomy is a journey. All medical students have some memories about their anatomy courses; some have good memories and some don’t.
It’s October 1995. I was a first-year medical student at my medical school in Egypt. I had never seen a corpse except in horror movies. I was so scared and I really thought that those bodies weren’t real. The instructor started “Well, who would like to start dissection?” I whispered to myself this guy must be crazy. He continued: “You guys have to do it”. OMG, I guess I will have to cut that dead body. Surprisingly I volunteered.
Years were going so fast. I graduated from medical school and decided to have anatomy as my career. How did I do that? Again, I don’t know; but I know that I am so passionate about teaching medical students and my utmost joy is to see them succeed in medicine…
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By Michael Dauzvardis
Place: gross anatomy lab
Music playing softly in the background: Your Body is a Wonderland, by John Mayer
“I’ve been at it for 4 hours and still can’t find the greater occipital nerve!” barks Joe, a first year medical student meticulously dissecting the posterior neck region on his cadaver— which he has nick-named Marvin.
Emily, one of Joe’s four dissection partners, quips “Perhaps that’s what killed Marvin—the congenital lack of a left greater occipital nerve!”
“Hilarious, “Joe retorts “Remind me to laugh.”
At that instant, Joe, in a moment of frustration, slips and forcibly plunges his scalpel into the neck musculature– striking bone.
Emily cautiously points, smiles, and adds “Oh—I didn’t know the greater occipital nerve was hollow.”
Joe, with his overzealous dissection technique, had managed to cut through both the greater occipital nerve and occipital artery.
“You’ll make a fine psychiatrist” taunts Emily.
Joe sets down his scalpel, rips off his gloves, and sulks out of the lab…
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