I'll try, speaking for just my uni of course. Please do not read this post if you do not want to cope with a graphic description.
|Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 14):|
do they cut the body into sections for different students
No. We were separated into groups of, say, 10 to 13 students. Two groups would share one "table", one working in the morning and one in the afternoon. We'd spent 2x 3 hours a week minimum in one of the two halls which both contained about 15 tables. On the other days of the week, we would be free to study what we deemed necessary.
We started trying to remove the skin from the thorax and back, as we developed some skill we proceeded to remove it from the arms and legs.
-> written osteology exam (bones, joints etc.)
After that, we removed connective tissues and fat from the muscles, arteries, nerves and everything else we wanted to see on the arms and legs.
-> oral exam extremities (mostly arms, legs, feet, hands)
Now things got interesting: situs. We started off with the thorax, then proceeded to the abdomen. We removed the heart, lungs, part of the intestine and I think that was it; the rest was well visible.
-> oral exam situs
Next were the head and the neck. Not surprisingly, there's a whole lot of delicate muscles, nerves and whatnot in this area, so it made a lot of sense to do this second last when we already had some more skill and knowledge. They opened the skull in this period so we would be able to see its inside, too.
-> oral exam head/neck
Last, but not least: the central nervous system, meaning the brain and the spinal cord. We didn't work on the spinal cord since that would have been too much work for too little result, so we used older, conserved preparations for that. The brain itself had been removed from the skull earlier (right after they had opened the skull) and was the last part of the body we worked on. It is not in the least mucous, but rather firm and compact, in case you wonder.
-> written exam CNS
, end of macroscopic anatomy
You mean permanently fixed and put on display? You would have to allow that first, otherwise no part of your body would be put on display.
In Heidelberg's case you will have a funeral, albeit a "mass funeral". All the parts of your body will be collected and cremated well after the semester, then put into an unmarked urn and buried together with the other, identical urns. Some officials from the anatomy department, most students and many relatives of the donors attended the service, and then we proceeded to the cemetery where after another short prayer everyone could pass by the grave if desired.
What did it feel like? I'm not much of an emotional person, and to me it never felt awkward. You also get used to it and the increasing smell as some students will always be too stingy with the fixing fluid, and near the end most students will not have a problem using a chisel to open portions of the skull so they'll be able to see the ear or the eye. However, I am not too eager to return to the anatomy hall and I still don't like the smell of the soap they have in the building - it reminds me of formalin.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.