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How is Anatomy split up and what is the general pace?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by yalla22, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. yalla22

    yalla22 Senior Member

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    Hi everyone, i'd like to get a better idea of the "pace" of anatomy...how many topics are covered in the course of a day? how many new words for ex would one be expected to learn in a given days lecture? I've tried searching online for a general syllabus or just something to give me a better idea of how much info will be covered in a day or weeks worth of time but havent found anything....
     
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  3. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    I'm going to guess that varies based on school/curriculum style.
     
  4. yalla22

    yalla22 Senior Member

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    i figured that but i guess i'm looking for a general answer...
     
  5. inked_caduceus

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    At my school (Wayne State) we did anatomy as a single unit vs. organ based with physiology. Here's how it went:

    Unit 1: arm and shoulder. (Not bad, but it's the first, so you freak out and work hard)
    Unit 2: head and neck (My favourite, but it's cramped anatomy and a LOT of nerves for memorization)
    Unit 3: chest and abdomen (Easier abdomen, more interesting clinical correlations, but more territory to cover)
    Unit 4: crotch and leg. (This was mostly self study "the leg is just like the arm!" and my least favourite - male/female GU is weird, anatomically.)

    (note: they weren't actually named as such, but that's how I remember them.)
     
  6. DoctorFunk

    DoctorFunk Get down with the boogie

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    Our course was set up just like inked's. I don't recall specifically how many structures we covered in each lecture, but I do remember that in each of our lab sessions (3/week) we had a list of 20-30 structures to identify, of which I probably remember a grand total of 10 as I reach the stunning conclusion to my M2 year.
     
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I'm not sure the responses you will get will be very meaningful. Every course is going to be a bit different. And it's less about the number of topics and more about the level of detail within each topic. A lot of courses save the head for later in the session than inked indicated because they want you go get desensitized before you have to look at the cadaver's face.
    Suffice it to say that in the course of such block, you will pretty much get through an Atlas in its entirety, and lectures and notes which cover a good chunk of the material in eg a baby Moore's.
     
  8. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna

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    :laugh:

    Here, we called it the pelvis.
     
  9. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    "unmentionables" is catchier.
     
  10. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna

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    Indeed. :)
     
  11. chandelantern

    chandelantern MSI at Mayo in August!

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    we had lab every day as well as lecture for almost 6 weeks and then a final examination (written and practical) at the end (as well as the NBME shelf exam). obviously we learned "words per day or week" than a curriculum that spreads out anatomy for the whole year so it really depends on your school. we did:
    back & upper limb
    then thorax
    then abdomen
    then pelvis
    then head & neck
    and finally the leg

    all were roughly one week, except Head and neck was a little longer and lower limb was only 2 days.

    I assume you haven't started school yet and are trying to prepare yourself? If so, I'd start by learning anatomical positions and descriptions of locations (ventral, proximal, medial, pronate, origin/insertion, etc, etc.) Then, if it is a compact anatomy curriculum (like ours) i would recommend getting a jump start on the head/neck because there is so much there and unless you do a fabulous dissection you are going to have to rely on your atlas for the most part anyway. If your curriculum is spread out over a semester or more, it might be better to start with a different part of the body, i don't know.
     
  12. lilnoelle

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    Ours is broken up by systems. In December we covered the Thoracic cavity and back/abdomen. In February it was the abdominal cavity. Now we are studying the male and female pelvis.

    We do about 6 disections each block (the first block took twice as long) with each person getting involved in 1/3 of the dissections and the group members who did the dissection was responsible to teach the rest of those in the group who didn't dissect that particular day.

    I felt like anatomy has been really easy the way we've done it. Almost extra points. Its nothing nearly as overwhelming as others have mentioned on this forum. Its possible that we aren't expected to know as much as other schools require.
     
  13. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    It's a smidge slower than lightening.

    Probably about one topic in a day...although it's hard to say for sure since it varies by school.

    We had a test every 4 weeks, and the first exam covered back muscles, chest, thoracic cavity, abdomen, and part of pelvis.

    As for new words...that's one of the big hurdles of anatomy. Almost all of the words are new. Unless, by some fluke, you use "cricothyroid cartilage," "obturator foramen" and "Purkinje fibers" in regular conversation.

    Don't try too hard to find a general med school syllabus for general anatomy. Since there are so many very good anatomy texts (Moore, Grey) available in any book store, they wouldn't bother posting it online.
     
  14. Critical Mass

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    For those who have anatomy over the whole year, how do you keep your cadavers moist? Do you have problems keeping the body fresh?
     
  15. lilnoelle

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    Well, we spray it with water and keep it covered as much as possible. (And its only 5 months for us, not the full year). But yes, the portions of our cadaver that we disected in previous blocks are pretty dry.
    We disect next year as well, but with a different cadaver.
     
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  17. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Frequent basting, like a turkey, helps, and then keep it covered. (A little BBQ sauce works well too.:) )
     
  18. yalla22

    yalla22 Senior Member

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    interesting...on another note, anyone have trouble seeing the cadavers for the first time???
     
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    It's always worse in your head than in reality. It's mostly the chemicals that bother people. By the end of the class you won't be phased at all.
     
  20. Hayden2102

    Hayden2102 Down Under

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    At my med school (in Australia) we do it this way. We have two semesters a year.


    Year 1 Semester 1: no anatomy.
    Year 1 Semester 2: all musculoskeletal (i.e. mostly limbs)
    Year 2 Semester 1: thorax
    Year 2 Semester 2: abdomen and pelvis
    Year 3 Semester 1: neuroanatomy (with head mostly)
    Year 3 Semester 2: integration of above (i.e. a brush up with some regional anatomy)
    Years 4 and 5 clinical etc etc
     
  21. yalla22

    yalla22 Senior Member

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    good:( i've never seen a dead body before, and i'm just so afraid of seeing all these bodies lined up on tables ready to be cut into....
     
  22. Critical Mass

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    Don't worry, you get used to it pretty quickly.

    What is up with all of the anatomy chatter lately? Doesn't anybody just want to enjoy their summer or was I the oddball?
     
  23. shivasHeroLike

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    in order:

    1. Back
    2. Upper Limb
    3. Thorax
    4. Head & Neck
    5. Abdomen
    6. Pelvis
    7. Lower Limb
     
  24. LifetimeDoc

    LifetimeDoc EM Attending
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    Yeah, the formalin can get pretty bad, especially in the juicier thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities. One day we sprayed some unknown conc of Fisher Fresh on the cadavers and it just burned your eyes and throat. Some people put Vick's inside their nostrils but I just tired to bear it because anatomy is just cool!
     
  25. LifetimeDoc

    LifetimeDoc EM Attending
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    Our undergrad gross anatomy lab was done over a 12 Week period (4 hours a week) and covered areas in this order (with 2 lab practicals, and 2 oral quizzes)...

    1. Back
    2. Lower Limb
    3. Upper Limb
    4. Head & Neck
    5. Thorax
    6. Abdomen
    7. Pelvis

    We followed the Grants Dissector.
     
  26. Pemberley

    Pemberley Senior Member

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    I attended a few sessions of anatomy at the local med school as part of a bio class... I had about 30 sec of "oh my goodness it's a real live dead body" and then converted to "ooh, cool, look at the heart!" and everything was fine.

    The smell never did get any less annoying, of course, but it's a chemical smell, not a death-and-decomposition smell.
     
  27. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    The cadavers aren't that bad. I ended up feeling quite protective of the cadaver that we had.

    The worst part, for me, is that the body "bits" get stuck on your lab clothes. (In our school, some people chose not to wear scrubs - just very old, hole-free clothes that they were going to toss away anyway.) Little bits of unmelted fat, muscle fibers, etc. Plus, since the formalin is oily, it seeps through your clothes, and is impossible to wash out. The really bad part is when you have to pull your shirt over head as you change clothes. Ewww.

    If you have some kind of canvas gardening apron, or the apron that you get in organic chem lab, it won't be so bad though.
     
  28. Tristy

    Tristy BairesYarnCreation @ etsy

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    Ever heard of the fire hydrant analogy?
     
  29. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin

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    For us it was a 2 month block. It was by far the most intense class of first year. We did Arm, Leg and back on the first exam; thorax, abdomen, pelvis on exam 2 and head and neck on the last one. There is really very little you can do to prepare for anatomy b/c it is unlike anything you have ever done.

    The amt you may study on your own over the course of the summer will probably be covered in the first hour of lecture. Enjoy your summer instead cause you wont even make a dent in the stuff you will cover during anatomy.

    Seeing the cadaver for the first time was much less of a big deal than I thought it would be. We did have 1 girl faint the first day (out of 182) but that was it. I was actually kind of disappointed in myself that it wasnt a moving experience. During the first week people will be all serious but by the second and third week people will be joking around.

    To get the formalin smell out of your body use swimmer's shampoo. I used it like a body wash and shampoo and it worked great.
     
  30. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member

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    We had about 6 hours of lecture a week, in which they told us "its not possible for us to cover everything in this little lecture time that you'll be responsible for". And then anywhere from 6-12 hours of class time dissection. (we were also doing histo, embryo and genetics simultaneously btw). The firehose analogy is as good a descriptor as I've found to describe the volume to someone who hasn't experienced it.

    It broke down into three blocks: 1) back, arm, chest 2) head and neck 3) abdomen, pelvis, lower extremity

    I never really had a problem with the bodies or the smell, kindof blech but nothing I fixated on. I dissected a cadaver in undergrad and even then the body quickly became objectified. One of my medschool tankmates constantly appologized to our cadaver whenever we had to do something particularly gruesome (like the partial decapitation and head bissection day, or facial dissection) so everyone deals with it differently. At the end of dissection we had a memorial service to thank our cadavers and it was really emotional because you deobjectified the cadaver and began to think about it as a person again.
     
  31. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    Man I had the exact opposite reaction. The cadaver I saw was already mostly dissected (at UMich) and at first I was thinking, "Oh wow... look! That's so cool!" But then I started thinking, "Wow, this was a living breathing person at some point. I wonder what their life was like. I wonder how they died..." and then I almost got sick.
     
  32. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Actually...at our school, they make you write a paper that asks you to speculate as to your cadaver's life and death, and talk about how socioeconomic factors affect care at the end of life.

    It was kind of a depressing assignment.
     
  33. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    We had anatomy lecture 3 times a week followed by dissections, but we alternated dissections, so you were only actually dissecting 1 to 2 times a week. Of course, you're still responsible for learning the stuff for the dissections you don't do. Each dissection could include learning up to 100 structures -- really, I tried to make lists of structures sometimes and gave up because the lists were too long. Class covered maybe 60% of what you needed to know for the exams. We had 3 tests covering the following in order --

    1. back, arm, thorax
    2. abdomen, pelvis, leg
    3. head and neck

    I don't really know exactly how to answer your question because I really can't quantify how much we had to memorize. What I can say is that it's pointless to worry about it now. It'll come and go, and I'm sure you like the vast majority of students will do fine.
     
  34. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    Instead of that, we had to meet the cadaver's family prior to the start of dissection. That gave us the opportunity to learn their real name, how they died, what the did in life before they died, look at pictures, etc. If anything, I think it made the dissection less sad because you were already confronted with the death of the donor before you started dissecting.

    The one dissection that really made me sad was when we were doing the head, and I got to look into our donor's mouth. He had several nice looking new crowns that had obviously cost a lot of money. It seems like getting crowns is such an investment in living, and then he died. Also, our cadaver was the same age as my dad (68) when he died, and he died of pancreatic cancer really soon after his diagnosis.
     
  35. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna

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    Wow, really? At GW, a huge effort is made to keep the identity of the body anonymous. We do have a ceremony to thank the families of the donors, but we never got to learn anything about our own cadaver except what they died from and how old they were when they died.

    I'm not sure which is the better approach. It seems kinda weird either way. :confused:
     

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