Playing Dead

Seeing as I will be doing this for a living next year, I figured I’d need the appropriate reference tomes.

When I came through medical school we had a horrible useless book that I’ve now given away. I bought myself Last’s anatomy to get myself through. And getting myself through with solid below average marks is exactly what I did for five years.

When I started teaching some anatomy stuff at Queen’s 3 years ago I bought myself Gray’s anatomy for students – which has excellent pictures but I found it a bit light on the text.

Given my shall we say limited academic acumen at undergraduate level I had some difficulty distinguishing a hippocampus from a hypothalamus and so I bought this book on neuroanatomy (check out the cover with the guy whose head hurts so bad from trying to understand it all…) which has served me well even if I still somewhat struggle to quite grasp the significance of pyramidal tracts. (maybe it’s how the ancient Egyptians evangelised?..)

The most famous of all anatomy texts is that by Henry Gray which has been recently televised in one of the most faithful TV adaptations ever seen.

Being out of copyright you can pick up a copy for 2 quid on eBay. So I did.

I even got a copy on my iPhone too.

There are of course some new developments in the field of anatomy since 1858 – not that human beings have changed all that much just our knowledge of them. The hip bone is apparently still connected to the thigh bone in case you were wondering.

This was also back in the days when you could just a lift a body from the poor house instead of asking them before they died.

Gray’s anatomy has continued and is now up to a 4oth edition and after dropping enough hints Transfarmer sold a kidney and bought me a copy for my birthday.

It is comprehensive to say the least. If not particularly portable.

The main thing I realise when I buy such books is how little I actually know. Depressing really.

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May 2010
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