History Anatomists

At the time new directives from the General Medical Council (GMC) on the direction medical education was the major factor according the current head of anatomy. There are also many other reasons why prosection maybe favoured (discussed below). It has probably now become near impossible to restart dissection at Birmingham even if one wanted to. This is due to the fact that current prosection uses a very similar number of cadavers as dissection previously did. If dissection was to be brought back the number of cadavers would be very large due the current cohort size. To increase provision of prosection the medical school is currently investing in the region of £800,000-900,000 on a new prosectorium. This will allow up to about 40 students to observe prosected material in any one session. The vast amount of money required just to increase the amount of prosection demonstrates that it is no longer possible to carry out dissection at Birmingham (and is the case for many other universities). Prosection makes more efficient use of a cadaver when compared to dissection. A single cadaver when dissecting would be used by up to 5 students whereas prosection allows if necessary and entire cohort to observe the prosected cadaver. Prosection also allows students to observe more than one cadaver whereas in dissection you would tend to just use a single one. Logistically prosection allows more flexibility than dissection as there is no commitment to provide a cadaver per a certain number of students, this in fact create opportunities for cadavers to be used, for example at Birmingham, for Special Study Modules (SSMs) and postgraduate teaching. Also there are many more aids to teaching anatomy then merely the prosectorium; improvements over the last century in colour images and photographs means that an anatomy text is no longer an aid to dissection but rather a central material to learn from.