Medical Sciences Get Messy!

Medical Sciences are incredibly interesting at a theoretical level. Whether a student is learning about the intricate organisation of the skeleton, or how the hundred billion neurons of the human brain work to give rise to our sensation, perception, movement, and consciousness, there is plenty of excitement to be found. Even so, that is no substitute for hands-on experience.

In this morning’s class, the Medical Sciences major had a great time dissecting lamb and pig hearts. Dissection has a way of complementing textbooks and lectures in a way that dispels misconceptions, and strengthens understanding. It is for this reason that students of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Oxford do a great deal of human prosection, and perform animal dissection.

Guided by handouts and the Medical Sciences faculty, students took note of notable features on the hearts’ surface before using scissors and forceps to investigate internal structures such as the tricuspid valve. Students took note of how much larger than lamb hearts the pig hearts were.  Professor Mohammed Ranavaya and Dr Christian Jones emphasised that to fully benefit from the dissection, the students needed to think about how the physical structures would relate to heart function.

In all, an educational session!