The humanities and gross anatomy: Forgotten alternatives [Book Review]

Abstract
Researchers in medical education have extensively studied negative reactions to gross anatomy, sometimes grouped under the term “the cadaver experience.” Although there has been disagreement about the extent and importance of such phenomena, several attempts at curricular reform have been designed to “humanize” the student-cadaver encounter. However, some obvious sources linking gross anatomy and the humanities have been consistently overlooked. Such sources—from the history of art, the history of anatomy, and autobiographical and imaginative literature—not only bear witness to the “cadaver experience” for anatomists of the past, but also offer forgotten alternatives for placing present-day reactions in perspective. Former methods of teaching which used such material might serve as models for reintegrating the humanities into the study of gross anatomy as a possible humanizing force
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