no1 wrote:Prof. Tek,
I hope that the students eventually moving on to professional careers requiring surgical techniques don't have just this one dissection under their belts before they start on humans!
Ms. Name's objection to using rats brings to my mind a question: how about using other animals instead for this course, such as frogs, lizards, or birds?
anatomically they are all very different from mammals.
As far as having just this one dissection under their belts, I dissected a mouse in the ninth grade, in biology class. Did I learn much? probably not a lot, but I was exposed to it and it did help me to appreciate what we are doing when we kill an animal to learn about biology. That exposure certainly helped me later when I had to do it in a more critical situation. This is something that we are very concerned about, and there is a LOT of concern amongst the scientific community that animals are killed for justifiable reason. We have animal care and use committees at every institution, who review every use of animals, in research and in teaching. This sort of work is pretty vital for people who are going into this sort of career. If this is their first dissection, there does have to be a first dissection for someone who is going to need to do dissections.
Generally, in college, graduate school, and medical school, live dissections are very much less common than they once were. They are quite necessary, however. Dissections of preserved tissues can really only show pretty basic anatomy.