Switch to virtual dissections, they said!
It’ll be fine, they said!
It’s all fun and games until someone loses a kidney. Even I had a WTF is that moment in the pluck bucket yesterday – after 20 years of looking at them.
This article about a surgeon that mistook a kidney for a tumour in a patient and removed it popped up in my Facebook feed today. You can read the full story here. I don’t know how or where the surgeon was educated, but I do often hear from those in the classroom that virtual is the way of the future. However – that isn’t what I hear from actual health care professionals. The support for dissection from the people you are relying on when you are sick don’t support virtual dissection as the only tool for learning gross anatomy.
We genuinely are all unique in our own ways and I want a doctor that has had some actual meat in their hands before they get to mine. How about you????
If we don’t keep the community generally educated in science then the need for science education becomes less valued by society. That can lead to mistakes like this happening and that can have very real consequences for real people and their families.
So I’m setting you a challenge. Do a virtual dissection online. Do the best one you can get Google to give you. Do it as many times as you like. Then dissect the real thing. I guarantee you that you will find it easier than going in without any pre-study at all, but I also guarantee you that you will have moments when you think “hang on, what am I looking at here?” and have to work a bit harder to get the full picture.
Now put yourself in the shoes of your average kid in Junior Science. They deserve a fighting chance at understanding their bodies properly so they can make good decisions later in life – especially if they find themselves hanging over you with a scalpel in their hand one day.