how do you guys feel about...

anniemal

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2005
22
0
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    having to take Gross Anatomy once you get into Med School?
    I feel nauseous just thinking about it. I mean how are you suppose to look at the dead person's face and just cut them open? I've also heard that you'll have to bisect heads. :scared:
     

    Apparition

    1K Member
    10+ Year Member
    15+ Year Member
    May 6, 2002
    1,574
    2
      I've never seen the anatomy lab but I'm not too woried. Probably just takes some time getting used to the idea. I don't think anyone has ever dropped out of med school because of anatomy.
       

      psychedoc2b

      Senior Member
      10+ Year Member
      5+ Year Member
      Oct 23, 2004
      164
      0
        anniemal said:
        having to take Gross Anatomy once you get into Med School?
        I feel nauseous just thinking about it. I mean how are you suppose to look at the dead person's face and just cut them open? I've also heard that you'll have to bisect heads. :scared:

        Uh,

        You will become desensitized to dissecting the cadavers after working in the anatomy lab for awhile. You should realize that what is worse is the SMELL. I felt nauseous from the smell more than anything else. I had to get out of the anatomy lab a couple of times while working in the lab for some fresh air. Also, bring & use some strong deodorant after being in the lab for awhile. The stench gets into your clothes and and everything else. So, wear scrubs and a lab coat while in the anatomy lab and change into your regular street clothes afterwards.

        I think you will become accustomed to dissecting after a period of time.

        Hang in there!
        psychedoc2b
         
        About the Ads

        anon-y-mouse

        Senior Member
        10+ Year Member
        Nov 14, 2005
        1,382
        13
        1. Resident [Any Field]
          I look forward to cutting people! For education purposes of course. I think it will be an amazing learning opportunity.

          What does it smell like? Rotting fish? Ethanol / orgo lab chemical smell or what?

          www.allheart.com for cheap scrubs! I wouldn't want to use my white coat (from the ceremony) for anatomy lab though...
           

          zzman

          Member
          10+ Year Member
          5+ Year Member
          Sep 20, 2005
          63
          0
          1. Pre-Medical
            Its not so bad.... I had the "pleasure" of sitting in during the autopsy of a body they found 4 days after the man had passed away. The smell is the worst part, you will smell it every where you go for the next few days, i guess the smell of death is the same in all meat. I couldn't eat chicken for a few days cause it smelled similar. Its probably best to not have that as your first experience though.... From what the pathologist told me, that was one of the wost bodies he's had to disect and if that is the worst.... average can't be that bad.
             

            psychedoc2b

            Senior Member
            10+ Year Member
            5+ Year Member
            Oct 23, 2004
            164
            0
              anon-y-mouse said:
              I look forward to cutting people! For education purposes of course. I think it will be an amazing learning opportunity.

              What does it smell like? Rotting fish? Ethanol / orgo lab chemical smell or what?

              www.allheart.com for cheap scrubs! I wouldn't want to use my white coat (from the ceremony) for anatomy lab though...

              FORMALDEHYDE!!!

              Your white coat is for when you interact with patients and for ceremonies.

              psychedoc2b
               

              anon-y-mouse

              Senior Member
              10+ Year Member
              Nov 14, 2005
              1,382
              13
              1. Resident [Any Field]
                psychedoc2b said:
                FORMALDEHYDE!!!
                Your white coat is for when you interact with patients and for ceremonies.
                psychedoc2b

                oh, just like high school biology dissection smell? that was irritating but not too bad at all... although i'm sure it will be different since the dissection subjects are much larger, so more formaldehyde.

                someone mentioned using a lab coat, that's why i mentioned it... so i suppose you just buy a crappy lab coat to use on top of scrubs?
                 

                psychedoc2b

                Senior Member
                10+ Year Member
                5+ Year Member
                Oct 23, 2004
                164
                0
                  anon-y-mouse said:
                  oh, just like high school biology dissection smell? that was irritating but not too bad at all... although i'm sure it will be different since the dissection subjects are much larger, so more formaldehyde.

                  someone mentioned using a lab coat, that's why i mentioned it... so i suppose you just buy a crappy lab coat to use on top of scrubs?

                  Since there are many bodies in one lab, the smell wafts from the bodies to the vents and permeates the whole lab until you feel as if you yourself are getting pickled for dissection. Just kidding!

                  Get a used lab coat and just snare some scrubs from the hospital if possible. Anything you wear in the anatomy lab is going to waste anyways. So, I would not waste too much money on anatomy apparel.

                  psychedoc2b
                   

                  gujuDoc

                  Full Member
                  10+ Year Member
                  15+ Year Member
                  Feb 21, 2004
                  13,864
                  38
                  1. Medical Student
                  2. Resident [Any Field]
                    When I went to visit MUSC a few years ago we were allowed inside to see the cadavers, but we were not allowed to see the face. Seeing the face is the only thing that sort of frightens me. The rest of the body was soooooo preserved that the skin even felt more like rubber then skin. It was weird but it seems like it coulda been worse.
                     

                    anniemal

                    Junior Member
                    10+ Year Member
                    7+ Year Member
                    Nov 8, 2005
                    22
                    0
                    1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
                      My nose gets stuffy most of the time and I can't smell very well unless I'm like an inch from it. So that doesn't sound too bad. What about the face? How do you deal with the cadaver's face and also, has anyone dreamt about the cadaver lab? I know I have -many times.
                       

                      AcesHigh

                      Member
                      10+ Year Member
                      Dec 4, 2005
                      46
                      2
                      1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
                        I look forward to this too, it seems like it will be an amazing experience. I have been in a lab after they did the dissection, and it smells a lot like the frogs/rats that you have to dissect in high school.
                         
                        About the Ads

                        psychedoc2b

                        Senior Member
                        10+ Year Member
                        5+ Year Member
                        Oct 23, 2004
                        164
                        0
                          anniemal said:
                          My nose gets stuffy most of the time and I can't smell very well unless I'm like an inch from it. So that doesn't sound too bad. What about the face? How do you deal with the cadaver's face and also, has anyone dreamt about the cadaver lab? I know I have -many times.

                          The cadaver's face has been pickled also and looks like a rubber mask. You really can't decipher the visage of the face because it's so distorted and does not look as human anymore, if that makes sense.

                          Also, the stench is STRONG and you will notice it even if you don't think you will.

                          I would just take some deep breaths outside the anatomy lab before you go inside and have a positive attitude about the whole dissection process.

                          If you are dreaming about it already, I suggest you do some activites that will take your mind off it because you have a long way to go before you start med school.

                          I would enjoy the time you have before med school, instead of worrying about med school. Because once you start, you will have more worries than you think you can handle during med school.

                          psychedoc2b
                           

                          SoCuteMD

                          Full Member
                          15+ Year Member
                          Nov 28, 2005
                          8,630
                          725
                          No more rounding!
                          1. Attending Physician
                            anniemal said:
                            having to take Gross Anatomy once you get into Med School?
                            I feel nauseous just thinking about it. I mean how are you suppose to look at the dead person's face and just cut them open? I've also heard that you'll have to bisect heads. :scared:

                            Don't stress about it too much. I thought I was going to DIE the first day. It was a little better the second day. By the third day, I was cutting and stuff with the rest of my group. You will become desensitized - I promise!
                             

                            Mistress S

                            Don't mess with the S
                            10+ Year Member
                            15+ Year Member
                            Apr 16, 2000
                            996
                            5
                            Thunderdome
                            1. Resident [Any Field]
                              I would agree that the smell is probably the worst part of anatomy lab. It's a very strong chemical odor from the preservative (I don't think formaldehyde is generally used anymore, mainly alcohol-based preservatives now), and it gets in your clothing, hair, everything. Even in a well-ventilated room, the smell is very strong because of the number of bodies. The first couple of times are the worst for this, then you actually get used to it somewhat and don't notice the smell as much later, although other people around you probably still do. Don't wear anything to anatomy lab that you're not willing to throw out later--our school supplied scrubs which most people wore, and then changed into their street clothes afterwards.

                              As far as the emotional aspect of dissection, I found it to not be particularly difficult, and I hadn't dissected anything since a frog in 8th grade. It's weird the first day, but you really get over it pretty quickly (and this was true for everyone I know of). At my school, we started with the back and did the head and neck last, which helped--obviously starting with the head would have been harder. We did eventually bissect the head, but by that point we had been in lab for 9 weeks and it wasn't that upsetting. We kept the head wrapped until we dissected it, and the day we took the covering off a couple of people in my group were upset and cried, but by the next day they were fine. Some will be more affected by the experience than others, but no one in my class couldn't handle anatomy lab. I think most of us shared the OP's fears going in and they turned out to be unfounded. I also felt like the faculty and my classmates all had a good attitude going into it, there was a lot of discussion about respecting the gift we'd been given and support if people felt uncomfortable, which also helped. It is a great way to learn anatomy, and I think you'll find it fascinating and only mildly disturbing once you get past the initial strangeness.
                               

                              ahumdinger

                              Senior Member
                              10+ Year Member
                              7+ Year Member
                              Oct 7, 2005
                              759
                              1
                              1. Medical Student
                                I've heard from many medical students that you get strangely hungry after anatomy lab. Maybe it's just that you've been dissecting all afternoon into early evening and you're starved. At any rate, I think it's pretty common for people to be nervous at first, and by the end of the semester, you're eating your sandwich in lab.

                                As far as lab coats, I walked into the WashU lab, and the students were wearing those disposable surgical coveralls. You know, those yellowish ones you see on ER. Other people have suggested having a change of clothes-- one thing to add to those-- wear a really old pair of sneakers, 'cause my boyfriend said that he had to just throw his away at the end of the year 'cause they were so gross.

                                And for people who've visited WashU-- Factoid of the day: the windows of the anatomy lab are frosted (if you've noticed). They have been recently frosted because when they were doing work on the Farrell Teaching Center, the construction workers would take their lunch breaks on the scaffolding outside of the anatomy labs and peer in. Totally weird. I know. But that's why they're frosted, to keep out the peepin' toms.
                                 

                                psychedoc2b

                                Senior Member
                                10+ Year Member
                                5+ Year Member
                                Oct 23, 2004
                                164
                                0
                                  anon-y-mouse said:
                                  What's standard footwear for the labs? I was thinking clogs like this:
                                  http://www.allheart.com/comfortclogs1.html

                                  I don't want to ruin my shoes... and I hope there are lockers to store regular clothing, or scrubs after use...

                                  Yes, there are lockers hopefully at your school.

                                  If you wear open clogs, your socks will smell. Also, you should completely cover your feet just in case a knife falls on or around your feet or a piece of flesh sticks to your shoes.


                                  I would wear old tennis shoes or old slip-ons.

                                  psychedoc2b
                                   

                                  Hoooba

                                  Masrawy 100 100
                                  10+ Year Member
                                  7+ Year Member
                                  Feb 6, 2005
                                  285
                                  0
                                  El 3'orbah
                                  www.pbase.com
                                    We had two cadavers for our anatomy class at my undergraduate university and after i finished that course I enrolled in a internship class where we got to dissect those cadavers for the students taking the class. I thought most undergraduate schools have cadavers for anatomy lab. Is this the case ?
                                     

                                    emack

                                    Senior Member
                                    10+ Year Member
                                    5+ Year Member
                                    Oct 30, 2005
                                    122
                                    2
                                    38
                                    Canada
                                    1. Medical Student
                                      anniemal said:
                                      My nose gets stuffy most of the time and I can't smell very well unless I'm like an inch from it. So that doesn't sound too bad.

                                      I have a terrible sense of smell-- really terrible. I would generally get to lab, barely notice the smell, and be breathing in great big lungfuls for an hour or so before it would suddenly all go to my head & I'd have to leave for fresh air. Closest I've ever come to fainting in my life. It would happen almost every week. And I'd usually leave with a splitting headache.

                                      So be careful. Whether you are particularly bothered by the smell or not, these solvents are pretty nasty.

                                      Edit: Also, I'd like to add that I was very nervous about starting anatomy, but even I got used to the weirdness of it pretty quickly. I'd never even seen a dead body "in person" before. And then all of a sudden it's "Welcome to the lab. Start by removing the anterior chest wall...".
                                       

                                      potato51

                                      Full Member
                                      15+ Year Member
                                      Oct 10, 2005
                                      1,280
                                      22
                                      1. Attending Physician
                                        we'll get desensitized to it. I unexpectedly had to do 40 mouse dissections in one day having never done one before, and the next time I had to do one, I was a pro and didn't get fazed by cutting into a dead creature at all. Of course, human cadavers are a different story, but I imagine the feeling will be similar.
                                         
                                        About the Ads

                                        Doctor Bagel

                                        so cheap and juicy
                                        Moderator Emeritus
                                        15+ Year Member
                                        Sep 26, 2002
                                        10,910
                                        1,150
                                        from the ministry of information
                                        1. Attending Physician
                                          psychedoc2b said:
                                          FORMALDEHYDE!!!

                                          Your white coat is for when you interact with patients and for ceremonies.

                                          psychedoc2b

                                          i've got to say i've decided there are much worse smells. i took a&p last term, and we had cadavers for our lab. we didn't cut on them, but we did have to study them, and the smell wasn't so horrid. admittedly, i didn't want to go eat afterwards. ;)
                                           

                                          zzman

                                          Member
                                          10+ Year Member
                                          5+ Year Member
                                          Sep 20, 2005
                                          63
                                          0
                                          1. Pre-Medical
                                            Praetorian said:
                                            Nothing tops the smell of digested blood (melena) from a GI bleed. *shudders* There is no way to describe it other than to say it sucks. Oh and isn't too pretty to look at either....a lovely shade of coal tar black.

                                            Yeah, the first autopsy I witnessed was a heavy drinker... scerosis of the liver + GI bleed... oh and the body was found 4 days after death... Now that smells....
                                             

                                            zzman

                                            Member
                                            10+ Year Member
                                            5+ Year Member
                                            Sep 20, 2005
                                            63
                                            0
                                            1. Pre-Medical
                                              Oh forgot to mention.... the smell in anatomy is roses compared to an autopsy. anatomy is a chemical smell... similar to dissecting in bio classes... autopsy is a rotten smell. You've probably left chicken in your garbage for a one day too long... imagine that smell for something 100 times bigger.
                                               

                                              robotsonic

                                              Senior Member
                                              10+ Year Member
                                              5+ Year Member
                                              Oct 10, 2005
                                              469
                                              2
                                              NYC
                                              1. Medical Student
                                                I think the smell bothers everyone a little at first. You don't think it is that bad when you walk into the room, but after a few hours of getting blasted with whiffs of it as you dissect, it gets a bit overwhelming. Then you get used to it.

                                                Don't buy clogs for anatomy lab! Wear the beat-up sneakers that you were about to throw out, because once you are done with anatomy, those shoes should get tossed! Wear scrubs instead of regular clothing. I never saw anyone in a lab coat, but we all wore scrubs. Remember that you will get bits of flesh on your clothing and shoes.

                                                And have fun! In January I'm going to be a TA for anatomy and I'm really excited. (I loved anatomy when I had it.)
                                                 

                                                gujuDoc

                                                Full Member
                                                10+ Year Member
                                                15+ Year Member
                                                Feb 21, 2004
                                                13,864
                                                38
                                                1. Medical Student
                                                2. Resident [Any Field]
                                                  Regarding the smell............

                                                  I think you guys have to realize the smell of an AUTOPSY vs. CADAVER will be DIFFERENT!!!!!!

                                                  Why???

                                                  The smell of a fresh autopsy generally is that of the smell of the blood and raw fresh tissue that is rotting.

                                                  On the other hand, the cadavers have more of a Formalin and formaldehyde smell or whatever it is they use to preserve the people's bodies. For the most part, the body has been cleaned up through the preservation process. So it is not the same sort of smell as an autopsy.

                                                  I think seeing an autopsy would be worse.
                                                   

                                                  zzman

                                                  Member
                                                  10+ Year Member
                                                  5+ Year Member
                                                  Sep 20, 2005
                                                  63
                                                  0
                                                  1. Pre-Medical
                                                    gujuDoc said:
                                                    Regarding the smell............

                                                    I think you guys have to realize the smell of an AUTOPSY vs. CADAVER will be DIFFERENT!!!!!!

                                                    Why???

                                                    The smell of a fresh autopsy generally is that of the smell of the blood and raw fresh tissue that is rotting.

                                                    On the other hand, the cadavers have more of a Formalin and formaldehyde smell or whatever it is they use to preserve the people's bodies. For the most part, the body has been cleaned up through the preservation process. So it is not the same sort of smell as an autopsy.

                                                    I think seeing an autopsy would be worse.


                                                    its A LOT worse.....
                                                     

                                                    C.P. Jones

                                                    Catface Majigger
                                                    10+ Year Member
                                                    7+ Year Member
                                                    Jun 9, 2005
                                                    2,107
                                                    3
                                                      Its_MurDAH said:
                                                      clogs? whitecoats? scrubs?

                                                      its only anatomy lab...not open heart surgery...jeez

                                                      well, i'll get scrubs for anatomy lab, but the rest is a bit over the top....why exactly a lab coat? to protect the scrubs?

                                                      oh, and this is a plus about UConn....very very well ventilated anatomy labs...i forgot what they said it was but the air is exchanged frequently

                                                      also, why did some of the interview tours go through the anatomy labs? i mean, it's nice and all, but i don't need my suit to smell bad
                                                       

                                                      deuist

                                                      Stealthfully Sarcastic
                                                      Lifetime Donor
                                                      Air Force
                                                      15+ Year Member
                                                      Jun 14, 2004
                                                      4,539
                                                      448
                                                      Florida
                                                      1. Attending Physician
                                                        You won't cut into the person while looking at his face. The heads are covered when you begin dissections (you usually spend a few days on the trunk or back). This method keeps the whole ordeal very impersonal.

                                                        The University of Wisconsin has some videos posted online. Check them out if you want to see what a dissection is like. Disclaimer: NOT for the faint of heart.

                                                        Oh, and get scrubs and clogs that are cheap enough to throw away. You aren't going to want to wear them ever again once anatomy is over.
                                                         

                                                        DropkickMurphy

                                                        Membership Revoked
                                                        Removed
                                                        10+ Year Member
                                                        Sep 13, 2005
                                                        9,729
                                                        25
                                                        A bar room in Mombasa drinking gin
                                                        1. Other Health Professions Student
                                                          Nah, stink was the floater (drowning victim) we found snagged in a submerged tree after 2 weeks. Jesus Christ it stinks.....No description possible.

                                                          As for autopsies, yeah, they are a whole other animal. But nothing compares with the gore and mess of embalming a body after an autopsy.

                                                          And by the way ZZMan, it's "cirrhosis" just so you know :) Medical terminology can be a real bear to learn....
                                                           

                                                          whosit

                                                          Junior Member
                                                          10+ Year Member
                                                          Dec 16, 2005
                                                          7
                                                          0
                                                          1. Pre-Medical
                                                            deuist said:
                                                            You won't cut into the person while looking at his face. The heads are covered when you begin dissections (you usually spend a few days on the trunk or back). This method keeps the whole ordeal very impersonal.

                                                            The University of Wisconsin has some videos posted online. Check them out if you want to see what a dissection is like. Disclaimer: NOT for the faint of heart.

                                                            Oh, and get scrubs and clogs that are cheap enough to throw away. You aren't going to want to wear them ever again once anatomy is over.

                                                            Is it normal not to wear gloves when doing dissections? Because that was gross and I can't imagine touching even a preserved body with my bare hands.
                                                             

                                                            BaylorGuy

                                                            Enter witty comment here
                                                            10+ Year Member
                                                            7+ Year Member
                                                            Mar 20, 2005
                                                            1,925
                                                            0
                                                            38
                                                            Galveston
                                                              whosit said:
                                                              Is it normal not to wear gloves when doing dissections? Because that was gross and I can't imagine touching even a preserved body with my bare hands.

                                                              I think after a while of doing something for so long, you just get used to the smell and handling things without gloves. Working in the lab has taught me this...many a time have the smell of pig and sheep gotten all over me and my hands (yes hands, stuff happens where there isnt enough time to puts gloves on). It dont bother me though, you get used to it (kind of like getting used to blood)...the other tech's dogs love the smell...its like christmas everyday for them.
                                                               

                                                              gujuDoc

                                                              Full Member
                                                              10+ Year Member
                                                              15+ Year Member
                                                              Feb 21, 2004
                                                              13,864
                                                              38
                                                              1. Medical Student
                                                              2. Resident [Any Field]
                                                                C.P. Jones said:
                                                                well, i'll get scrubs for anatomy lab, but the rest is a bit over the top....why exactly a lab coat? to protect the scrubs?

                                                                oh, and this is a plus about UConn....very very well ventilated anatomy labs...i forgot what they said it was but the air is exchanged frequently

                                                                also, why did some of the interview tours go through the anatomy labs? i mean, it's nice and all, but i don't need my suit to smell bad


                                                                Not necessarily over the top. I have friends in med school who do exactly this. The smell from the anatomy labs starts getting on everything and this double coats you so that you yourself don't reek of the smell as bad. Actually, in my reg. comp anat class, we are required to keep a lab coat.
                                                                 

                                                                SoCuteMD

                                                                Full Member
                                                                15+ Year Member
                                                                Nov 28, 2005
                                                                8,630
                                                                725
                                                                No more rounding!
                                                                1. Attending Physician
                                                                  gujuDoc said:
                                                                  Not necessarily over the top. I have friends in med school who do exactly this. The smell from the anatomy labs starts getting on everything and this double coats you so that you yourself don't reek of the smell as bad. Actually, in my reg. comp anat class, we are required to keep a lab coat.

                                                                  It really does, and it's almost impossible to get out. Women - I recommend you buy a cheap bra that you will throw out at the end of lab and change into it before lab each day. Stupid lab ruined a nice Victoria's Secret bra I had!!!
                                                                   
                                                                  About the Ads
                                                                  This thread is more than 15 years old.

                                                                  Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

                                                                  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
                                                                  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                                                  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                                                  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
                                                                  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
                                                                  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                                                  7. This thread is locked.