www.whyville.net Dec 11, 2011 Weekly Issue

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Through a New Door

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I've always remained concrete on the thought of being a pediatrician as a living. Never once did I explore other options in the medical field until yesterday.

You might be wondering what could have possibly changed six years of certainty? The answer: cadavers (dead bodies).

That's right. Yesterday, my Health Science 2 class was given the opportunity to go inside this university's Anatomy lab and examine cadavers. This was a pretty rare event because they don't even let their college students in there. The only people normally allowed were medical students with authorized permission.

When we all first stepped into the building, you could easily feel the nervous energy of the room. We dressed up in overly large blue gowns and bright purple gloves. Now that I think about it, we looked like a gang of Oompa Loompas going through the silver door leading to a wonderland.

When we first viewed the cadavers we were inching away. I believe it was because we kept thinking about the fact that we were looking at someone who was once alive. But after ten minutes or so, we kind of forgot the idea that the person was human (they don't really look like a human at this point) it became a lot easier on us and the room was filled with educational energy.

The only time I really remembered that it was a person we were looking at was when one of the cadavers had some red nail polish remaining on their hand. This really blew my mind because it made me start thinking about how this body used to be a girl who enjoyed painting her nails and looking nice. It also brought forth the idea that these brave people donated their bodies for science, and allowed strangers to be this intimate with them. I've never had more respect for organ/body donors as I do now.

Now, what really got me uncertain about my career choice was when I got to hold four hearts and lungs. It was an eye-opening experience because of the very fact that these were actual organs that somebody used at one point. And they were nothing like what you would find a book. Yeah, they describe the texture and whatnot, but to be able to actually feel it was a whole other experience. Because of this, I now yearn for a job where I'll be able to see all these systems in action, instead of the careers that only need you to examine the physical traits of a person.

Whether or not I end up with a career like that, this was an astonishing experience that I'll never forget for the rest of my life.

Author's Note: The heads of the cadavers were covered for privacy. And where I mentioned that they didn't really look like humans was due to the fact that the skin was now a brownish-gray that didn't resemble one.


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