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Anatomy is a vast subject, and unless one is constantly teaching it one is not likely to have detailed knowledge. The average student leaves medical school with only a confused jumble of terms to show for his two years of study. It is really the dead language course of the medical curriculum, and bears the same relation to surgical anatomy that postmortem pathology bears to living or surgical pathology. The one presents the "chassis" unassembled, its component parts represented by muscles, nerves, vessels and viscera, and a word memory to fix them. The surgeon learns his anatomy through the repeated visualization of structures and their relationships, and he continues to be conversant with anatomic detail long after he has forgotten the nomenclature. Surgical anatomy is the study of surface landmarks, the identification of living structures in situ, through an incision rather than when they are displaced by dissection, and it
Surgical Anatomy of the Human Body. Volume II, Upper Extremities, Neck, Shoulders, Back, Lower Extremities. JAMA. 1927;89(2):143. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690020067035
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