“The first cadaver that I dissected was in undergrad at Colorado State University. It was surreal and the table next to me kept humming the song Mr. Sandman, so for years after I would hear Mr. Sandman every time I dissected. My first cadaver dissection was the most influential time in my life. It changed my career path from pre-med to anatomist and I am so thankful for it. To this day, I look for anomalies and the ‘‘they should have died from that’’ and my students pick up on that excitement.”
Melissa Carroll is co-chair of the Cadaver Use Committee. This group has put in a lot of work over the years to be a source of information when you want to learn about cadaver labs. With several very experienced members over the years, they have created a strong folder of resources for you. Melissa is helping the Cadaver Use Committee to keep that information current and available.
“The first thing to think about when designing a cadaver lab is ventilation, exhaust, and spacing. Cadaver labs are expensive ventures and need a dedicated planning team (which should include architects, environmental health and safety experts, and an outside resource from a ‘dream’ lab). Double and triple-check your design and be patient; it can be a very long and expensive process.”
Some of the resources that the Cadaver Use Committee has available include ‘Helpful Tips and Documents” for the cadaver lab, information on where to publish, reviews of supplemental resources (when cadavers aren’t readily available), as well a network of dissection experts from across the continent. This committee has offered assistance in the design of numerous labs, helped find resources when regulations block the ‘dream lab’ from developing, and provided advice and mentorship for instructors new to running a cadaver lab.
“I was enamored by the selfless act of donation by the cadavers. Once I started dissecting, the world dropped away and the cadavers taught me so much. I was focused and enchanted. I want our committee to help you and your students have same experience. We’d love to hear your questions and needs; we’ll do our best to help you.”