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First Cut: A Season in the Human Anatomy Lab…

First Cut: A Season in the Human Anatomy Lab

by Albert Howard Carter

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 031219546X, Paperback)

Many of us have heard stories about ghoulish medical students and the pranks they play using arms, heads, or other parts "borrowed" from the cadavers in their anatomy labs. Like most urban legends, these stories are both compelling and untrue, telling us more about how we imagine the world to be than how it really is. First Cut contains the observations of a humanities professor allowed to watch medical students struggle with the challenges presented by their first anatomy class. Carter tracks, and mirrors, the students' progress from initial nervous joking and unwillingness to touch the bodies to familiarity and respect for their "silent instructors," culminating in an end-of-term Service of Reflection and Gratitude.

As he sees changes "in personal feelings about death, touching, and the wonderfully complex activities of the human body" in the young men and women, he also puts to rest the memory of his father, who had donated his body for medical study. Pacing the story are three inspired essays on the nature of medical education and thirty beautiful and absorbing Renaissance anatomical illustrations. First Cut, far from being a sensationalistic account of young doctors run amok, is perfect for anyone who is interested in understanding medicine and its practitioners. --Rob Lightner

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:27 -0400)

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