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ShaChris23's avatar

Ways to study human anatomy w/o going through dissection lab?

Asked by ShaChris23 (318points) March 28th, 2012

Human anatomy is my recent interest. Knowing that I would not get as much out of a textbook as taking a class in anatomy/physiology, I’m looking to sign up for one in a local college. The class however has a co-requisite of dissection lab, a “thorough examination by dissection and microscopic study.” I cringe.

What are ways to study human anatomy without going through the dissection part? Is it even possible? I dread touching cadavers and dead tissues and peering into internal cavities.

Thank you for any help or suggestions..

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11 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Anatomy software is something you may want to look into.

If this is a serious interest of yours, you may want to take it to the next level and take some actual courses. I think your apprehension is quite normal.

sinscriven's avatar

I agree with @SpatzieLover , there should be some college level anatomy textbooks/CDs that will be more that sufficient for your curiosity. They will just be very expensive, as are most science books.

If you’re interested in working in medicine/science as a career though, you’re going to have to get over your squeamishness over the human body real quick or you’ll make it impossible for yourself to get anywhere. Theory is nothing without practice.

SpatzieLover's avatar

You may want to see if there are any volunteering opportunities at a local morgue @ShaChris23. Once you are around people that are around bodies, you can ask questions about if they ever had any anxieties about cutting bodies open. Also, you can learn about career opportunities in your community.

majorrich's avatar

I recall my wife taking a class while she was in nursing school where there was a big stack of slabs of a person encased in acrylic. (she just stepped in and told me it was cross sectional anatomy) She found that class to be pretty interesting.

ShaChris23's avatar

@all Thank you. My interest is purely personal, nothing vocational. I broke my ankle a few years ago; a friend asked me which bone I broke, which tissues I tore, etc., and I couldn’t answer her. It made me realize that I knew so little about the body despite maintaining an active lifestyle and constantly trying to outdo myself.

The ankle has since healed but the range of motion for that leg is limited. I figured that understanding the body & movement would help me work around my limitations or appreciate what my body could or couldn’t do. I still want to do so much.

It’s just dreadful to think about “cutting bodies open,” hence this question. Maybe I’ll try DVDs.

seekingwolf's avatar

If I were you, I would definitely try out books, computer software, and DVDs. Don’t take a dissection lab if you are squeamish. If you really want to take a class though, ask the instructor if you can take it WITHOUT the lab. Explain that you are just doing this for your own interests, not a major. As long as you are willing to pay, I can’t imagine they would decline you.

I’ve grown up with 2 doctors as parents so I’ve played around a LOT with anatomy software. Take a look here: This is what I grew up playing with on the computer. I find that it’s very informative, well-done, and fun.

creative1's avatar

I am currently taking a phlebotomy class at the american red cross and we are going over the human body anatomy right now. If you are in the us might be worth taking a look at your american red cross if you don’t mind the thought of drawing blood.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Are you quite sure that it is human dissection? They may be using animals to illustrate specific parts shared by humans. I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t clearly state in the course description that you would be working on human cadavers.

Sunny2's avatar

Grey’s Anatomy may have all the answers you need. See if you can get a copy at your library. They are very expensive. Lots of illustrations and explanations.

dabbler's avatar

This app looks promising, although it’s telling me my browser doesn’t support 3-D. [ :-( ]
BioDigital Human
(p.s. works on Chrome on my Windows 7 box, not on firefox; does not work with firefox or chrome on my fedora box).

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