>September 23 2001

>The results of my first Gross Anatomy test last week were just that … gross. A lot of us were in the mode one of my classmates called “damage control..” We knew we were not well enough prepared so we just were hoping not to dig ourselves too big a hole to climb out of on the next exam.

Our next exam is on the thorax and abdominal cavities. We have opened our cadaver up and examined the heart and lungs in the last week. It is really amazing to see. The heart is really fascinating and we have opened up each of the compartments and poked around inside. I have learned how ignorant I was about some things. I always imagined that a coronary bypass operation was needed because one of the major vessels coming from the heart was blocked, i.e. the aorta or the pulmonary arteries. It turns out though that you have these much smaller arteries that circumflex the heart itself supplying blood to the external muscles of the heart. It is these arteries where blockages sometimes occur causing the muscles of the heart to die.
It seems everyone in the lab ends up being freaked out about one thing or another. A girl in my group is really disturbed by the liquefying of some of the cutaneous fat on the body while cleaning the body. It starts out as yellow solid tissue but as you scrape it, the fat will sometimes just kind of melt and look like the fat in chicken soup. Some others are really disturbed by some limbless specimens that are stored in some of the tanks to let us study spinal cord structures that we will not dissect out on our own cadavers. None of that really bothered me but when I saw the grape jelly looking congealed blood still in the now dead heart I kind of got queasy! Gross!

About Marcus Lee

Child Neurologist
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