Virtual Anatomy vs Gross Anatomy at PCOM

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by Nic_machiavelli, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. Nic_machiavelli

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    Hello
    Evidently PCOM is considering teaching anatomy using 3D software instead of hands-on training with cadavers.

    Virtual Anatomy vs Gross Anatomy. What do you think?

    Nick
     
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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I think I wouldn't want any of them to be my surgeon...
     
  4. metsn02

    metsn02 Senior Member

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    Nick,
    Sorry bro, but I'm a first year at PCOM and have heard nothing about this and seriously doubt that they would ever compromise a future physician's hands-on knowledge of the human body by making this transition. We spend a minimum of 3-4 hours a day/5 days per week in the gross lab with teaching cadavers of 4-5 students at each. Add to this that each member in our group has equal access to ALL the dissections carried out in class. This is significant, because I have read on sdn that there are a few medical school that employ a rotation for dissections where multiple groups are assigned to a body and are responsible for parts of a dissection in which the other members of the group must come in at separate times and view what the other group did. I find this probably more frightening than a virtual anatomy integration because I think that this might introduce gaps in learning of gross anatomical structures. There is definitely no substitute for carrying out a dissection on your own.

    Where did you obtain this information Nick? I'm asking because I don't want future PCOM applicants to hear your suggestion and feel as though this is accurate if you merely heard this from a friend.
     
  5. Nic_machiavelli

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    Mrs. Machiavelli is a first year too. I am currently an "Anatomy Widower".

    Dr Miller mentioned this at the Open House in late September.
     
  6. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    Are you sure that the statment was "virtual anatomy INSTEAD of gross lab" or "virtual anatomy ALONG WITH gross lab."

    Gross anatomy here is an awesome experience. 50+ cadavers with a big emphasis on looking over the should of other groups to see the differences from individual to individual.

    It's also a great time to meet your classmates and mingle while learning at the same time.


    I find it hard to believe that they would alter the course in such a way.
     
  7. Nic_machiavelli

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    JP
    Agreed. The comment was "instead of" - and Miller obviously wasn't keen on it. Personally I am not either, but then again I'm not happy with the way it's being taught now.

    What struck Mrs. Machiavelli - who was a paramedic - the most was the sheer beauty of the complexity of the human body. Speaking as an engineer it must be the same feeling I get when I open up a piece of well designed equipment where its clear on a visceral level that alot of thought (or in the case of the human body, trial and error) has gone into every screw and subcomponent. It's a feeling that will stay with her throughout her career, and impact every patient she treats.

    It is also a process that connects her with all those who have come before her, tracing the systematic study of the human body all the way back to Galen. In that sense it is also an initiation.

    But it is expensive, and as the cliche goes "Learning about the human body from a cadaver is like learning about trees from a telephone pole". I was simply curious how others felt about this subject - hence the posting.

    Regards
    Nick
     
  8. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    I would not attend a medical school if the cadaver lab was removed from the Gross Anatomy curriculum.

    Amazing experience from top to bottom.

    I have not heard the buzz, but will keep my ears open.

    Best of luck to your Mrs.
     
  9. Chisel

    Chisel Senior Member

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    Virtual Anatomy!!!!!!??????????


    That would mean I would lose out on my opportunity to bs for three hours because my lab partners don't allow me to touch my cadaver.

    But seriously, I find it very hard to believe they would substitute dissecting a cadaver with a virtual anatomy course. Using it as a supplement seems much more likely.
     
  10. Chisel

    Chisel Senior Member

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    What Dr. Miller was talking about (probably) was an increasing tendency of medical schools to decrease time in the Gross Lab. For good reason too--Anatomy has become one of the least important subjects for a modern physician who must use pharmacology & psychology much more often than anatomy even in a busy urban hospital.

    To that end anatomy professors have to get more done in a less amount of time. They added computers with A.D.A.M. next to each cadaver in some gross labs. They have replaced dissections of the ear--which is impossible for a 1ST year student to perform properly with a videotape of a surgeon performing the dissection. They have replaced dissections with "pro-sections" in which the professor performs the opening up of the pelvis or the demonstration of the spinal chord while the students watch as he explains the structures found.

    At PCOM they have not yet had to do any of these things--PCOM has the entire 1ST trimester devoted to Gross Anatomy & Histology. All dissections are done by the students and there are no computers in the Gross lab. On occasion there are plastinated specimens for the hand, leg but always as an addition to the dissection never as a substitute.

    The dissection guide is Grant's classic 12TH ed. not the shorter Grant's Essential 2ND ed. and the official text is Big Moore's Clinical Anatomy not Moore's Essential Anatomy.

    The day may come when PCOM may make these changes Dr. Miller has been working on his own dissector--shorter than Grant's 12TH but longer more descriptive than Grant's Essential.

    For more info about Gross Anatomy Courses see:
    http://www.med.umich.edu/lrc/coursepages/M1/anatomy/html/home.html
    they maintain an excellent web site about their course at U of Michigan.
     
  11. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member

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    That will/would be a sad day that they dispense with cadavers in favor of computers in anatomy lab. I hope it never happens. There really is no substitute for the 3d tactile learning that you get with the cadaver. Anatomy is essential to any field of medicine.
     

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