If you freeze at the sight of a medical instrument... .. you are not alone! Historically, physicians have tried various methods to reduce the fear induced in the patient by seeing what is coming their way. For women, possibly the most scary of all is the obstetrics forceps; if there was ever an instrument to strike terror… Continue reading Medical instruments as bling?
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
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?
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
Faeces are big news: every few months another story appears pointing to the potential benefits of faecal transplants in a range of bowel conditions. The internet includes DIY advice along with suggestions of banking our own poo so that we can reboot our digestive system from it if anything goes wrong. Examining the patient’s bodily products,… Continue reading Constipation in History