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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Bodies of Knowledge

March 05, 2004

The reasons given for scaling back dissection of cadavers in medical schools (the mess, the unpleasantness and difficulty) are precisely the reasons that such dissection should remain prominent in the curriculum (Feb. 28). The experience may be time-consuming and inefficient but it grips, shapes and informs the mind profoundly and for an entire career, as simply displaying expertly dissected, ready-to-view specimens cannot possibly do. The lessons of Vesalius ought not be discarded in the name of a misguided efficiency.

George M. Lewis

San Luis Obispo

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