the practical

25 Oct

I’ve been wanting to share the anatomy practical experience…it’s something else.  I kind of like it.  It’s the closest thing to the Triwizard Tournament in which I’ve ever participated…hmm…maybe I need to get on a broom and play quidditch more frequently.

In groups of 40, our professors and TAs bring us into one of the anatomy labs.  Pen and paper in hand, we’re still in the usual scrubs and gloves because we’re allowed to touch the various identifications but, as Dr. Rubinstein says, “You break it, you eat it.”  We situate ourselves such that we’re each next to a numbered label, a tag attached to a portion of the body (two per body), or radiograph, or bone.  And then Dr. White’s voice pierces though, “Go forth!”  After 60 seconds, one of the TAs announces “switch!” or “rotate!” and we move on to the next station.

Some tags are just that…numbers pinned into organs, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, bones, etc…and we just have to identify them…of course, easier said than done.  I think my favorite station was that of a colon, completely separate from any cadaver, piled (the biggest colon known throughout the MS1s) and folded in any which way on a table, with a small #29 tag (soggy and barely legible) attached to a thin piece of yarn that gently encircled an artery.  If only there was a fly on the wall to watch the panic streak across everyone’s face as s/he got to that table and began to frantically fumble around an over-sized colon, attempting to discern exactly which part of the colon the artery was supplying.

Other stations were numbers and questions:

“What three bones articulate with this bone?”

On the radiograph: “At which vertebrae is this cross section?”

“What nerve innervates this muscle?”

60 seconds for each, and there’s no turning back.  It’s pretty invigorating, really…and mildly terrifying, but no more than any mind game against yourself.

The next practical is a group exam.  I am…cautiously optimistic.


4 Responses to “the practical”

  1. Catherine October 26, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    Oh wow that’s intense. I have a somewhat hilarious rendering of it in my imagination, but it’s probably not quite so funny in real life. Although I did laugh out loud at the “you break it, you eat it” bit. Good luck on your next practical!

    • annaojesus October 26, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

      I actually think it’s pretty hilarious as well…well, surreal, anyway. Thanks so much for the well wishes! I hope you’re enjoying the autumn!

  2. RM October 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    ugh, that brings back memories. i struggled with anatomy practicals more than any other part of ms1. glad you seem to enjoy them a little more :).

    • annaojesus October 26, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

      well…I should say that I’m *really* taking the whole pass/fail thing to heart, so it makes exams a lot less stressful. We’re not all cut out for derm 🙂 How’s it going??!

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