Constructing Stories of Past Lives: Cadaver as First Patient: “Clinical Summary of Dissection” Writing Assignment for Medical Students

Kaiser Permanente, The Permanente Medical Group, The Permanente Federation

Kristi J Ferguson, PhD; William Iverson, MD; Marc Pizzimenti, PhD

Spring 2008 - Volume 12 Number 2

The Clinical Summary of Dissection assignment encourages students to reflect on their experiences in the Gross Anatomy Lab. The goals we have in human dissection are 1) to help students observe the donor as a whole being and not just as the bones and organs they studied; 2) to have students make careful observations without medical equipment or diagnostic procedures; 3) to have students formulate their observations into plausible hypotheses; 4) to have students identify how lifestyle might have contributed to chronic disease as evidenced by the condition of the body; and 5) to help students appreciate the contribution made to their education by the donors and their families through body donation.



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