Dissection / South Africa

Only in Africa…

So we wrote our block test today.

The written test was okay. I had fun drawing pictures for two hours and writing words to go around the pictures for one hour. The pictures were of anatomy of course! Definitely not the head of the guy in front of me. Or the view out of the window. No, I only drew anatomical pictures! Really.

Anyway, after the written test, it was time for the spot test. Basically, what happens is that the lecturers set up nicely dissected specimens, with certain structures in them marked with pins, or a piece of string etc.

Or they can simply put a bone down on the table, with part of it painted in a different colour and ask us what that part is called.

The students then rotate from question to question. We have one minute per question. They have a very annoying bleeper that they set to go off at intervals of one minute. (And I thought the school bell was bad!)

So then we walked into the dissection hall for the spot test.

The first indication that I had that this was not going to be a walk in the park came when the supervising lecturer announced that we didn’t need to worry – this was an easy test. He then jokingly added a caveat: “Ja, but then I’ve been lying to you for the last seven weeks anyway!” Many a true word is spoken in jest…

The moment I knew for certain that I was doomed, though, was when I reached the table with the patella. Lying there on the table, this patella stared up at me. The lecturers had actually had the audacity to ask us whether it was a right or left patella! I mean, seriously, this thing looks like a deformed cookie! And then they ask us whether it belongs to a left or right knee?

The pinnacle, though, was reached when I got to the table with the adductor canal marked on the specimen. Obviously, a pin had not been good enough for the lecturers this time. There, stuck into the adductor canal on this very fine dissection of the thigh… was a porcupine quill!

DIA – ‘Dis is Africa!

I rest my case.


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