Cadaveric dissection is becoming obsolete among medical schools. It used to feel like a rite of passage but as part of the curriculum update at Imperial, 1st year students solely use prosections for their anatomy learning.
Whether you have seen a dead body before or not, it seldom prepares you to what you will see in the dissection room (DR). Over the last four terms of medical school, we dissected the entire human body so I decided to write a free-form reflection on my experience emotionally.
The reactions from students in the first session ranged from being absolutely fine to fainting.
Before I jump right in- kindly note that it’s pronounced dis-section, and not di-(s)section. Literally the one thing I can recall from the intro to anatomy lecture from Freshers’ week.
Safe to say our very first dissection session was highly anticipated amongst my cohort. We’re currently learning about the thorax- part of the body between the neck and abdomen. At Imperial, we do full-body dissections rather than prosections. Each group consists of 10-11 students and we are assigned a cadaver per group for the whole of the anatomy course, which lasts into year 2. The dissections are done at our Charing Cross campus.