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Book and Media Reviews
February 15, 2012

Online Guided Gross Anatomy Dissector

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (

JAMA. 2012;307(7):728-729. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.160

From their first day of medical school, students are expected to know the anatomical relations of innervation and blood supply of organs and other body structures. During residency training and in practice, clinicians in virtually all specialties, especially surgical disciplines, perform invasive procedures or at least make diagnoses grounded in knowledge of gross anatomy.

For the student, even one armed with written anatomical guides, cadaveric dissections in gross anatomy courses have limitations. Even with the aid of dedicated prosectors, key structures are often overlooked or destroyed as a consequence of the inexperience of the student dissector or the lack of visual and textural contrast inherent in the embalmed cadaver. For the clinician, anatomical visual aids are welcome when planning surgical intervention and can be a useful adjunct for explaining procedures to patients.

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