An Unexpected Lesson at Medical School

December 21, 2010

Medical students at Sweden's Karolinska Institute were stunned recently when the body to be used in their first lesson on performing an autopsy was none other than a former instructor, The Local reported. Medical school officials say that standard practice is to announce the name of the deceased before the autopsy begins -- to avoid the discomfort of learning the necessary skills on a body students know. While school officials say this was done, students say that they didn't know the name until they saw the tag attached to their former instructor's toe. The president of Sweden's Medical Students Association, Maria Ehlin Kolk, a medical student at Umeå University, said that she was frustrated that the incident had not been prevented. "It is important that an autopsy truly be the educational opportunity that it should be. The question is how much these students learned from the situation," she said.

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