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Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

Mortui vivos docent


"The dead teach the living." Dr Alistair Hunter with King's medical students in one of the College's Dissection Rooms.


‘You can learn anatomy without dissection, but you can’t beat hands-on experience,’ says Dr Alistair Hunter of the Department of Anatomy & Human Sciences.

‘Here’s a patient with a problem,’ we say, ‘What is it? Students can look at CT and other scans of bodies, and then open them up to see how what’s inside compares to how it appears in imaging. There’s just such a wonderful order to the human body, and a joy in knowing how it all fits together. I try to impart to my students some of my own enthusiasm and love of the subject.’

Specialist anatomists and dedicated dissection rooms are becoming a rarity in the UK, but here at King’s we’re continuing a long tradition of dissection. There’s no substitute for three-dimensional anatomy in learning about the structure of the human body.

As Dr Hunter says, ‘Dissection has important benefits besides imparting anatomical knowledge. It fosters a respect for the human body, develops skills of manual dexterity and builds teamwork.’

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