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Online Cadaver Guide Created by Georgetown Scientist

Online Cadaver Guide Medical students can use the Online Guided Gross Anatomy Dissector to increase their understanding of the process of dissecting a cadaver before stepping into a lab.

June 7, 2011 – Medical students can now start learning how to dissect a cadaver before they set foot in the lab, thanks to a gross anatomy electronic guide created by the Georgetown School of Medicine’s Carlos Suárez-Quian.

The GUMC professor of biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology created the guide to help today’s students master the fundamentals and assist universities, often under pressure to train more students within tight space constraints.

“As a graduate student nearly 33 years ago, my classmates had to lug a textbook, atlas and 200-page dissection manual,” Suárez-Quian recalls.


After seeing his own students struggle with the amount of material and its presentation, he said he wanted to  “make learning more student-friendly, without compromising knowledge or proficiency.”

Medical students may now use the Online Guided Gross Anatomy Dissector, just published by Sinauer Associates, Inc. to increase their understanding of the process by studying before, during and after being in the lab.

The guide is accessible on any electronic device with web functions and includes more than six hours of short cadaver dissection videos and interactive step-by-step instructions with photographs.

After each dissection step, a student is shown an image of what structures should be observed and what to do and look for after each step.

Complementing the Lab

The students then test themselves with more than 300 interactive flash cards to reinforce their knowledge of the material.

“The [Online Guided Gross Anatomy Dissector] doesn’t replace what students learn in the laboratory, but serves as a lab tutorial, allowing students to pick and choose individual sections for self-directed learning,” Suárez-Quian explains.

The electronic guide is also suitable for undergraduate students studying anatomy and students preparing to enter medical school who do not have access to a laboratory.

“We’ve shown that the [online] dissector can be used to teach gross anatomy to students who will not participate in cadaveric dissection, yet these students will perform as well on gross anatomy exams as students who have had access to dissection,” Suárez-Quian says.

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