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Would you rather have a prosected cadaver in gross anatomy or dissect it yourself?


Would you rather have a prosected cadaver in gross anatomy or dissect it yourself?  

57 members have voted

  1. 1. Prosected cadavers or Dissect your own?

    • Prosected cadavers (already dissected .... less work for me and you)
    • Dissect my own cadaver (learn better by doing it myself)


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I, for one, would think I would like to do the dissection myself as I am a visual learner as well as tactile. I would have the best of both worlds; seeing and touching and then either backing up of what I either read in the books and/or listening to the lecture (this is coming from a Pre-PA student and watching others).  

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IMO, I would have prosected. We had over 125 students (combined PT/PA/Masters/PhD students) with only 3-4 faculty members. We pissed away so much time waiting for help to make sure we weren't destroying our cadaver. If you did a poor job dissecting, your cadaver was pinned with incredibly difficult identifications so you had a lot riding on your ability to do a high quality dissection. At a minimum, I would have appreciated a minimally prosected with us having to do maybe 30-50% of the remaining dissection. 

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We share cadavers with the DPT students and they do the dissections.  At first I didn't like it but it is a huge bonus to us.  It really gives you time to study what you need to look at without having to spend hours trying to scrape off fat, fascia, etc.  It is a big benefit to have them already doing it.  

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We used prosected cadavers this summer and I'm so glad. In my opinion dissecting is just a huge time suck and being in a 24 month program, I can't imagine that's the best way to spend the time.

We spent much more time on the lecture portion of anatomy such as what conditions are associated with particular nerve injuries, etc. That seems much more useful to me than being able to identify the fibularis longus tendon at the ankle.

However maybe if you're interested in orthopedic surgery, dissection is something to look for in a program.

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  • 2 weeks later...

... I can't imagine that's the best way to spend the time....

 

This is the big issue. I think without a doubt dissection is the best way to learn anatomy. If you were trying to learn anatomy in isolation, this is the way to go.

 

In PA school, dissecting will cut into time you could likely better spend mastering physio, the physical exam, etc. It's all about balance.

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Currently taking Anatomy and we do our own dissection in groups of 5-6 per cadaver. I have found it incredibly useful especially when it is difficult and we have to tease out structure and take our time. This allows us to discover the relationships between structures and at times (brachial plexus in particular) it was an invaluable learning experience. There are 4-5 TA's along with the Professor for 8 groups so there is always someone available to help guide or answer questions. We also have 24 hour access to the lab to come back in and examine the cadavers of other groups and get a look at things we may have missed or inadvertently removed.

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I loved that our program required us to do the dissection. It was a great time to really reinforce what we were learning by having to actually dissect out everything and give us such an appreciation for the human body. It allowed us to learn about the relationships between muscles, arteries, veins, and nerves that existed and remember where they were. It also was a great bonding experience with the lab group I had. We had TAs and 2 professors present to assist when we might have gotten stuck or also just for clarification for what we were looking for. It was a lot of work, but it was an amazing learning experience that I am so glad I was able to do. 

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At my program, we have prosected cadavers because we share with another local PA program on their campus.  The other program dissected the cadavers because they started about a month before we did, and at first it seemed a little disappointing since I was prepared to be doing it myself.  However, I feel that it truly made the best use of my time in going through the cadavers.  I really don't think that by not doing the dissection I have any less of an understanding of how things work together/where they are located just because I didn't dissect them out.  It was also really interesting to know the differences in some of the cadavers that were discovered through the dissection process that our professor was already able to point out ahead of time for us to look at.  We also have pretty much 24/7 access to the lab which I think is a huge bonus to be able to go in on our own time.

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I loved that our program required us to do the dissection. It was a great time to really reinforce what we were learning by having to actually dissect out everything and give us such an appreciation for the human body. It allowed us to learn about the relationships between muscles, arteries, veins, and nerves that existed and remember where they were. It also was a great bonding experience with the lab group I had. We had TAs and 2 professors present to assist when we might have gotten stuck or also just for clarification for what we were looking for. It was a lot of work, but it was an amazing learning experience that I am so glad I was able to do. 

IMHO, reinforcement is so important when it comes to studying especially in medicine.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Having done both, I strongly prefer prosection labs. I did a prosection anatomy course prior to my dissection course at PA school. In our program there are 4 students/cadaver. All of us put in a TON of work on those bodies, and most of us didn't learn much during that time. The learning took place after labs and on weekends, when we could take a step back and look at the relationships (you need this time, so make sure your program allows it). A prosected body would have offered that without the 15-18 hr/wk wasted on dissection. Plus bodies dissected by PhD anatomy TAs who have taken the class many times over are better bodies to study than those done by PA students who have seen those structures maybe twice before.

Occasionally the TAs would do a prosection and a demo. That was GOLD for us. I wish the whole class had been that way. Looking back, a lot of us asked programs specifically if they had a high cadaver:student ratio in a dissection lab....and I really wish I hadn't put so much value in it.

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