Human Cadaver Lab - 3 Stories
Updated: Feb 16
© Greg Landry 2023. For permission to reprint in blogs, newsletters, web sites, etc. please contact Greg Landry.
I was recently talking to a friend about some of the funny things that happened in my university human anatomy (cadaver) lab last semester. I love these kids - this put a smile on my face.
As you may know, an anatomy lab can be a rough place at times; people faint, vomit, cry, laugh, refuse to open their eyes, etc. But most students end up loving it once they get through the first time or two. While students learn a lot and have fun in the process, we also discuss the need to treat the cadavers and the process with respect.
Here are a couple of situations from last semester that will put a smile on your face. Please note that all of these students ended up "lovin' anatomy".
Bill fainted the first time he saw the cadaver. He was lowered to the floor gently by a couple of girls standing behind him. On his back, on the floor, with about ten people staring down at him, he opened his eyes and said;
"Hey, get out of my room. What time is it?"
A female student fainted, but didn't go down so easily. Her head hit the wall on the way down, causing a fairly substantial wound on the back of her head. As we were trying to stop the bleeding and get her to the ER to get stitched up, what was she concerned about?..
"I just got a new haircut, please don't let them shave my head to stitch that cut."
And then there was Harry (name changed to protect the guilty). Harry and about ten other students were dissecting on one cadaver while I and a few students were dissecting another cadaver. Here's how the conversation went from there;
me: "what happened Harry?"
Harry: "I think i cut something."
me: "what was it Harry?"
Harry: "I think it was the lung"
I walk over to take a look.
me: "Nope Harry, that would be the small intestine."
..And this boy wants to be a surgeon. :) But, that's what the learning process is all about.
I also tell students about "life lessons" from the anatomy lab. One in particular was about a student, "Ashley", with an incredible work ethic and another student, "John", who was brilliant but was a slacker. We discuss the importance of work ethic, building relationships with students and professors, and how small differences / choices now and in the college years can affect so many aspects of their lives in the future.