GCU’s atlas program gives med students anatomical experience

Apr 10, 2018, 4:15 AM
(KTAR News/Kathy Cline)...
(KTAR News/Kathy Cline)
(KTAR News/Kathy Cline)
LISTEN: GCU anatomy atlas

PHOENIX — It might sound like a gruesome joke, but a Phoenix-area college’s cadaver lab is leading the way to a new anatomical atlas.

Grand Canyon University’s cadaver atlas project – done entirely by students – includes a variety of tasks ranging from dissection, photography and anatomical art to histology, pathology and clinical skills development.

It’s not easy for students to see a body for the first time. This cadaver work helps prepare them for medical and post-graduate studies.

“My first day, I actually had to … walk outside and prepare myself,” said biology student Suzanne Curry, “’cause we were working on a new body.”

Curiosity quickly took over, though.

“You really do wonder … how they lived their life, and what they knew they had,” Curry said. “And now, you’re getting the experience of seeing it.”

The GCU cadaver program was established in 1985. It has since grown to more than 200 GCU students who work on the lab’s 18 cadavers.

Priscilla Morales, who plans to be a physician’s assistant, says an actual body is better than any textbook.

“We get to know far more detail about the human body than our basic anatomy classes here,” she said. “Maybe (the person) had some sort of abnormality in their heart; maybe that’ll affect some other organ in their body because of what they died from.”

Future OB-GYN Rachel Wayne said she saw a cadaver once that had a large ovarian tumor – but the patient’s symptoms were mistaken for old age.

“I would have never been able to wrap my head around the size of the tumor in a textbook,” she said.

Faculty instructor Michael Bodeen said the atlas project is great. However, he feels the cadaver work is preparing his students for medical studies far better than any textbook or lecture.

“Can you imagine?” he said. “Going into medical school, not having to be under the stresses that a typical anatomy student at their first semester, second semester, dissection courses (would) have?”

The atlas project should be completed within the next year. Bodeen said the first edition will be for GCU students only. After mistakes are fixed, he said, the university hopes to market the atlas elsewhere.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., runs from the Senate chamber after voting on an appropriations bill t...
Kevin Stone

In CNN interview, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won’t tip hand on $2T domestic bill

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema wouldn’t commit to supporting her party’s $2 trillion domestic agenda during a sit-down interview with CNN on Thursday, but she didn’t provide specifics on how to secure her vote.
13 hours ago
A member of the Atelotorque performance troupe. (Photo via Phoenix Zoo/Peter Speyer)...

Acrobats imagine animals’ lives after dark for new Phoenix Zoo fundraiser

The Phoenix Zoo announced a new fundraising event -- Animals After Dark, An Aerial Experience -- featuring animal-themed acrobatics performed against the backdrop of the venue’s main lake.
13 hours ago
(Eegee's Rendering)...
Danny Shapiro

Eegee’s opening Mesa location, its second in the East Valley, in mid-December

Eegee's has set an opening date for its second foray into the East Valley, this time in Mesa.
13 hours ago
Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes (Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
Associated Press

Northern Arizona sheriff pleads guilty to operating boat while drunk

Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes pleaded guilty on Thursday to operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to a year of probation and will spend two days in home confinement.
13 hours ago
Empty vaccine vials from various manufacturers lie in a tray at a vaccination hub in the Aachen-Ark...

Arizona delta wave reaches new heights in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

Arizona health officials reported 5,236 new COVID-19 cases and 14 additional deaths on Friday as the delta wave surges to new heights.
13 hours ago
Timothy Carpenter (MCSO Photo)...
Associated Press

DPS arrests man on Phoenix freeway in stolen SUV, find military ordnance inside

Arizona highway authorities in Phoenix arrested a man accused of driving a stolen vehicle that had an inactive military ordnance inside.
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Canvas Annuity

Annuity basics: how to retire with a guaranteed paycheck for life

Does the thought of retirement fill you with stress or with happiness? Everyone wants to spend their retirement in a way that brings them the most joy, whether that’s traveling the world or spending extra time at home with grandkids.
Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?
Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford offers cars and deals for all this holiday season

Sanderson Ford’s No! Vember Black Friday sale is giving an opportunity to purchase a new 2021 vehicle just in time for the holiday season.
GCU’s atlas program gives med students anatomical experience