Cadaver

GoSpursGo

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      How many students are there per cadaver at your school? And in your opinion what is a good number of people to get through all the excess tissue without it being over crowded.

      I'm at Baylor, and we generally have 5 per tank. That seems like a decent, realistic number; with that amount you can have 2-4 people helping in the dissection at any given time (fewer if you're dissecting fine regions like the face, more if it's a gross region like a leg), and then everyone else looking and finding useful prosections to help us see all the structures we inadvertently mutilated :oops:. I think many more than that and people would wind up just standing around sometimes.
       
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      SenseiDoc19

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        I'm at Baylor, and we generally have 5 per tank. That seems like a decent, realistic number; with that amount you can have 2-4 people helping in the dissection at any given time (fewer if you're dissecting fine regions like the face, more if it's a gross region like a leg), and then everyone else looking and finding useful prosections to help us see all the structures we inadvertently mutilated :oops:. I think many more than that and people would wind up just standing around sometimes.

        Nice i cant wait! I think we have two sections of 4 and we have to go in after hours to look at what the other group had done.
         

        DrMom

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          We had 2 per side dissecting at a time. We had 8 people per cadaver, with sets of 2 assigned to dissect certain areas/structures. This meant that we weren't all in there at the same time and we didn't have to spend extra time dissecting every week. If you dissected an area, you then were assigned to teach the structures to those who were not dissecting.
          I thought this worked very well and was glad to not have to spend so much time in the anatomy lab outside of class time.
           

          DrMom

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            the fewer people per cadaver = you spend more time dissecting

            actually dissecting is low learning/time yield. While I think it is useful to do dissections (and I think all med students should have to do it), I don't think it is worth a ton of your time. Your time is better served studying the already dissected portions and studying for other classes.
             

            GoSpursGo

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              the fewer people per cadaver = you spend more time dissecting

              actually dissecting is low learning/time yield. While I think it is useful to do dissections (and I think all med students should have to do it), I don't think it is worth a ton of your time. Your time is better served studying the already dissected portions and studying for other classes.

              Yeah I definitely gotta say I agree with this. I don't get a whole lot out of the actual dissections; looking back later in the week, and especially at the professionally-done prosections available at my school, are way more useful to me than the actual cutting itself.
               

              FloatOn

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                I'm at Baylor, and we generally have 5 per tank. That seems like a decent, realistic number; with that amount you can have 2-4 people helping in the dissection at any given time (fewer if you're dissecting fine regions like the face, more if it's a gross region like a leg), and then everyone else looking and finding useful prosections to help us see all the structures we inadvertently mutilated :oops:. I think many more than that and people would wind up just standing around sometimes.

                Ugh, cutting anywhere on the face weirds me out, especially near the eyes. No ophthalmology (sp?) for me!
                 

                SouthernSurgeon

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                  I always love getting asked this question when I give admissions tours. Especially when the applicant asks it in this low, thoughtful voice like they just strained their brain muscle thinking it up.

                  My usual answer: 4, but if I said 5 would you go somewhere else?

                  I really don't think that the # of students/cadaver is going to have any meaningful impact on your medical education
                   
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                  JJMrK

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                    Yeah I definitely gotta say I agree with this. I don't get a whole lot out of the actual dissections; looking back later in the week, and especially at the professionally-done prosections available at my school, are way more useful to me than the actual cutting itself.

                    Interesting. I think schools agree with you, as more than one place I interviewed had/were moving toward prosections only.
                     

                    bioteach

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                      We only have 4 per cadaver. Two per side, basically. I preferred that way. I wouldn't have wanted to come back to my cadaver only to find an entire area dissected that I hadn't participated in dissecting out. But that's just me. If you like dissecting and it actually helps you learn...small is good. However, if you want to stand back and keep your hands clean, I suppose bigger may be better.

                      I don't understand how the 2 groups in rotation on a single cadaver works for regions in which there are not two of the same structure. Arms, legs, I understand...but I would have been really bummed to come in and see the heart already removed by a previous group...
                       

                      DrMom

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                        I don't understand how the 2 groups in rotation on a single cadaver works for regions in which there are not two of the same structure. Arms, legs, I understand...but I would have been really bummed to come in and see the heart already removed by a previous group...

                        That is why we were assigned to teach the other class what we had done that week. I also "teamed up" with a classmate who was in the opposite half of the dissecting. We made sure the other had a good opportunity to learn everything without spending all the hours dissecting.
                         

                        lacrossefiend73

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                          Yeah I definitely gotta say I agree with this. I don't get a whole lot out of the actual dissections; looking back later in the week, and especially at the professionally-done prosections available at my school, are way more useful to me than the actual cutting itself.

                          Really? At first I didn't really like being in lab, I thought it was a waste of time. But, I came to realize that if I actually was dissecting and finding that terribly hard to find nerve, I'd remember what it was. Yeah, it might have taken me forever and wasted my time, but I knew what it was. Granted, everyone learns differently :thumbup:

                          it is so not cool when you're spending extra hours in the anatomy lab dissecting when you have so much other information to learn. the coolness wears off incredibly quickly.

                          We had small groups (4) and we spent no extra hours in the lab... I guess I wouldn't have found it as helpful if that had been the case.

                          I always love getting asked this question when I give admissions tours. Especially when the applicant asks it in this low, thoughtful voice like they just strained their brain muscle thinking it up.

                          My usual answer: 4, but if I said 5 would you go somewhere else?

                          I really don't think that the # of students/cadaver is going to have any meaningful impact on your medical education

                          +1. I always get asked this as well and think the same. My school has 4 per table, except my table had 5 since we had a grad student taking the course. I was definitely at no disadvantage.
                           

                          bioteach

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                            That is why we were assigned to teach the other class what we had done that week. I also "teamed up" with a classmate who was in the opposite half of the dissecting. We made sure the other had a good opportunity to learn everything without spending all the hours dissecting.

                            I think you're right that the learning wouldn't be hindered at all (most likely even aided by the teaching aspect), but I got so excited about uncovering structures while dissecting (oh look...its the median nerve!) that I would have been disappointed to miss that experience. But I'm a dork, my tablemates probably got tired of me going "Wow, that's so cool!" all the time. So if you're like me, you may prefer being there for all the dissecting, but that isn't necessarily the norm.

                            We also had a very thin older lady, so we had very little fat and fascia to dig through. That may be why I enjoyed doing all of it in our small group.

                            So OP, it probably depends on your personal preferences. Unfortunately you won't know your preference until you're in lab and elbows deep. So don't weigh cadaver-group numbers too heavily when making school choices because there is no one "best" arrangement for everyone.
                             

                            Mackey

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                              We also had a very thin older lady, so we had very little fat and fascia to dig through. That may be why I enjoyed doing all of it in our small group.


                              My boy ate a very thin older lady or something. It was not appreciated that we only have 3 to tackle him. In fact, I wish we had more.

                              Furthermore, if there were more people to a group, there would be less groups to spread instructors around, and they might stop by our group more often to answer: "What the F is this that I just cut?"
                               

                              Depakote

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                                We had 4 to a group, it was a good balance and I was taught well...

                                but looking back as a 3rd year, this was probably the thing I asked most about as a premed that has made the least difference in my medical education. Anatomy is a bit of a hazing process, you have to master it but, but many of the minutia don't stick with you beyond first year as they're not as clinically relevant as the things you learn in microbiology/physiology/pathology/pharm/etc. Step I is weighted this way as well.

                                The above is just my opinion, all I'm saying is there are more important things you should be basing your decisions on.
                                 

                                slowbutsteady

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                                  Yeah, but I want to dissect. I'm sure it's just beginner's enthusiasm, and it will tire out eventually, but still it would be cool to cut up cadavers.

                                  You will have more cutting than you could ever want.

                                  I felt the same way as you do as a premed, but a lot of anatomy is very tedious and you are very glad for the help. We had four, but the more the merrier!!!
                                   

                                  The Poet Sings

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                                    I always love getting asked this question when I give admissions tours. Especially when the applicant asks it in this low, thoughtful voice like they just strained their brain muscle thinking it up.

                                    My usual answer: 4, but if I said 5 would you go somewhere else?

                                    I really don't think that the # of students/cadaver is going to have any meaningful impact on your medical education

                                    :smuggrin::laugh: i'm not sure why i even found this so amusing. but i did.
                                     

                                    GoodmanBrown

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                                      I always love getting asked this question when I give admissions tours. Especially when the applicant asks it in this low, thoughtful voice like they just strained their brain muscle thinking it up.

                                      My usual answer: 4, but if I said 5 would you go somewhere else?

                                      I really don't think that the # of students/cadaver is going to have any meaningful impact on your medical education

                                      Yeah, I'm hoping for like 6-8 per cadaver. Who the hell wants to spend 2 hours a day slowly cutting off fascia?
                                       

                                      JmanDO

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                                        The more the better (within reason). DrMom's echoed it best. I've done a lot of dissection this semester alone and I'm bored with it. A human cadaver will be interesting but incredibly stressful and more people will get it done quicker and relieve your stress.

                                        The only reason to study a cadaver is to pass the cadaver exams, I'll learn a bunch more from the text and working with living pts.
                                         
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