Adannadavid as we got to know books
My experience with anatomy
While many of my fellow students curse anatomy around the clock, this was actually my absolute favorite subject in the preclinical department from the start. Sure, it's an incredible amount to learn, but in a few subjects I've noticed that I'm really studying medicine, like anatomy. In the meantime I have two preparation courses and histology behind me. So all that's missing is neuroanatomy.
At our university, anatomy is spread over all four preclinical semesters. We started with the extremities. So in the first semester I started my first prep course. Of course, I was excited, and I was allowed to sniff a prep course before I went to university. On the first day, our professors brought a donor body into the lecture hall before we were supposed to meet the partially prepared bodies in the prep room. On the second appointment we got to know our table lecturers. These should accompany us through the course together with our brakes and also check afterwards. I was told that Bremser is a Marburg term for student assistants in anatomy that has historical origins. I have no idea whether that is true or whether other universities also use this term. So our brakemen first decided who gets which prep area, for me it was the left upper arm. But I think this system only worked for 3 hours, then we prepped where there was space. I found the course incredibly exciting, especially when you noticed what was not so nice and typical Atlas. Our table lecturer really tried and explained everything to us. To prepare, I went to Mainz for a day with two fellow students. The body world exhibition was there at the time. We must have looked really strange to the other visitors as we sat cross-legged in front of the specimens with our anatomy books and asked each other. In the end, the test wasn't as bad as everyone feared. The lecturers don't want to fail you, they are generally really fair.
So in the second semester I continued with histology. The prep room suddenly looked completely different. Now there weren't 21 tables with body donors there, but 100 microscopes and small wooden boxes with specimens. What looked like a lot in the first semester was even more this time, but the relationship to medicine also became more direct. Both in the lectures and in the course, the lecturers explained many pathological processes and showed directly how they can be recognized. I was particularly fascinated by the structure of the heart muscle cells and the lungs. But this is probably due to my general interest in heart and lungs, which most ambulance workers find exciting. When the exam came up again, the mood was rather tense throughout the semester. Unfortunately, this was not entirely unfounded, since the exam was set as a PowerPoint exam. For us, this means that all students sit in the Audimax and each question is only displayed for 45 seconds. Correcting yourself afterwards was not possible. Fortunately for me it was still enough, but the failure rate was well above what we were used to. The oral exam, on the other hand, was quite relaxed again. Everyone had two preparations that should be identified and something to tell about. Mine were the pituitary gland and the pancreas. Fortunately, these are very easy to recognize and you can tell a lot about the pancreas in particular. So it also took luck. I probably wouldn't have done the placenta so well, but if you want to memorize the whole book you will eventually no longer have fun studying. Learning a little on the hiatus can bring you a lot of peace of mind.
After the first two exciting semesters, I was looking forward to the next prep course all summer. It should be about five times as much as the first semester, but the course also promised to be much more interesting. It was no longer just about muscles, nerves and blood vessels, but the entire individual organs in the thorax, abdomen and pelvis, as well as the head and neck. The course was about three times the length of the limb course. I think everyone noticed that this was the second course. While we handled everything carefully with tweezers in the first semester, this time we were less anxious and carefully removed the organs from the body even without tools. We only noticed this difference when we had a visit from the pharmacy students, as they were there for the first time and showed us that it is somehow not normal, that we lifted the organs so fascinated. This has also been shown every now and then when this topic has not only been addressed among medical students. The looks were always clear. This time too, of course, the abnormal conditions were particularly exciting. Our body donor died of a stroke and had many other peculiarities in the vascular system. Her abdominal artery was very firm, which was due to severe arteriosclerosis. In addition, her heart was very atypical. The significantly enlarged right atrium and the jugular vein more than the size of a thumb were signs of heart failure. This own search for pathological changes and the cause of death made the course incredibly exciting, especially when the pathologist then gave us the answers to our suspicions. Shortly before Christmas, the general tension increased again and the other lectures emptied. There was really a lot of material this time, but that was also feasible and we could all leave the course knowing we had really learned a lot.
All in all, anatomy is probably the pre-clinical subject that I will always remember. The fascination of getting to know the human body so directly made up for it. So I'm really looking forward to the next semester with the neuroanatomy course, even if the Physikum is getting closer and closer. For all those who still have the prep course ahead of them: Don't worry, you get used to the smell yourself and it's really incredibly exciting.
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