History Anatomists

Modern anatomy Anatomical research in the past hundred years has taken advantage of technological developments and growing understanding of sciences such as evolutionary and molecular biology to create a thorough understanding of the body's organs and structures. Disciplines such as endocrinology have explained the purpose of glands that anatomists previously could not explain; medical devices such as MRI machines and CAT scanners have enabled researchers to study the organs of living people or of dead ones. Progress today in anatomy is centered in the development, evolution, and function of anatomical features, as the macroscopic aspects of human anatomy have been largely catalogued. The subfield of non-human anatomy is particularly active as modern anatomists seek to understand basic organizing principles of anatomy through the use of advanced techniques ranging from finite element analysis to molecular biology. With increasing demands on the healthcare system and what could be deemed chronic under-training of doctors (numbers of doctors per capita compared to other industrialised countries) during the latter half of the 20th century, medical schools are now facing massive pressure to train as many doctors as possible. This has meant in recent years cohort sizes have doubled and more in size, in order to try and meet the demand. This has resulted in increased pressure of the facilities at all medical schools in the country. Anatomy is one department in particular that has had to evolve to accommodate the number of students. At Birmingham dissection was once essential to the teaching of anatomy but since the end of the 1980s the medical school has adopted prosection over dissection.