Wednesday, 28 October 2015

THE DISSECTION HALL

September 2nd 2014.

Clouds in the sky. A slight drizzle. One hundred and fifty students walked towards a new life. A different life. And it began with the Dissection Hall. 

Before entering the anatomy department a huge quote welcomed us.....
'THE ONLY PLACE WHERE THE DEAD TEACH THE LIVING'.
I was intrigued. Awestruck (I still am). However I didn't understand the full potential of this until I saw the Dissection Hall (DH).

For any first year medical student, the DH is probably the most exciting thing they could ever see. You know, the formalin soaked dead bodies, that pungent smell enough to make you cry and all the Cunningham manuals. This is the place where we, for the first time, come in contact with the human body and get to know the machinery of it. Cut and remove and count every muscle, organ or vessel of the body.

The first few months, we were scared. Not in the exact sense of the word; not scared of the cadaver but intimidated by the fact that we had to remember so many things about it. The first day, we did have a couple of students who fainted, but personally I think it was the smell of formalin that was responsible rather than fear. We would all be fighting to be nearer to the dead body. Trying to cram into ourselves as much as the body could offer. See the structures, cross reference them with the book and try and remember them.

Viewer discretion advised ;)
Quickly enough,  we got saturated. Our mind started wandering off. And that is when we started to look around us. We made friends. Each person came with his/her own story. You heard, you talked and you learned. Some life lessons. Letting 150 youngsters loose in a room with a few dead bodies can be dangerous. You have no idea on what topics people could bond over.  Talking all over, laughing, learning, asking others to teach them, playing chain reaction in groups, gossip (loads of it), completing seniors' records. I could go on.........

DH sessions were like stress-busters. Despite the intense
pressure of keeping up with the course they were comforting because they reminded us why we were here. Every afternoon, for two hours, we would forget everything else in the world. We would study, and observe, and get a good hands-on experience about the human anatomy. We also had to fill ourselves with the daily dose of gossip, eat chocolates and celebrate birthdays and pull pranks on our friends.The Dissection Hall bore witness to our growing up. 

Fast forward the clock, and it is Oct 1st 2015.
A year and a month after all this started.

 My palms were sweaty, it was my first professional examination. The subject was anatomy practical. After a grueling but a satisfactory show, it was done. Over. And I walked out with my friends.


The sky was overcast, raindrops fell gently and I was reminded of the beginning. 
It ended the way it started. 
Picture Courtesy: Google Images