death, dissection, Galen, Hippocrates, museums and collections

Theatres of Anatomy

Every other year, I lead a tour group which visits two historic anatomy theatres: the oldest permanent structure, the Padua anatomy theatre of 1594, and the 1638-39 one in Bologna. Before 1594, anatomy theatres were temporary structures, in some cases erected at the expense of the professor performing the dissection. On the tour, we usually… Continue reading Theatres of Anatomy

dissection, Galen, Hippocrates, teaching

Where’s Hippocrates?

While we're thinking about Vesalius and dissection, here's a question. Do you know the ‘Where’s Wally?’ series (in the US and Canada, ‘Where’s Waldo?’)? Readers are faced with a busy scene and are asked to find Wally, distinguished by his red-and-white striped shirt, bobble hat and glasses. When I've taught fourth-year medical students about the… Continue reading Where’s Hippocrates?

death, dissection, museums and collections

Bodies at breakfast, and a grand day out

While we're on the theme of dissection... I was recently talking to a breakfast group about ‘Bodies, ancient and modern’. No, I don’t know why they wanted to hear about bodies at breakfast, either – I prefer to focus on my muesli. In the section in which I talked about the history of gaining knowledge… Continue reading Bodies at breakfast, and a grand day out

death, dissection, Galen, teaching

Fun with pigs

  Finally, I understand what it is about dissection… Among other things, I’ve been a visiting professor at a medical school. As a recently-founded medical school, this one does not teach through human dissection. Instead, students learn their anatomy through books, computer simulations, models, and ‘surface anatomy’. The rationale is not just about the difficulty… Continue reading Fun with pigs