Gross anatomy

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Gross anatomy is the study of anatomy at the macroscopic level. The term gross distinguishes it from other areas of anatomical study, including microscopic anatomy, which must be studied with the aid of a microscope.

Techniques of study

Gross anatomy is studied using both invasive and noninvasive methods with the goal of obtaining information about the macroscopic structure and organization of organs and organ systems. Among the most common methods of study is dissection, in which the body of an animal is surgically opened and its organs studied. Endoscopy, in which a video camera-equipped instrument is inserted through a small incision in the subject, may be used to explore the internal organs and other structures of living animals.

The anatomy of the circulatory system in a living animal may be studied noninvasively via angiography, a technique in which blood vessels are visualized after being injected with an opaque dye.

Other techniques of study include X-ray and MRI.

Anatomy is the study of the structure of the body, in medical schools the dissection of the human body (cadaver) is common place. Thought of the only way to learn and teach anatomy by many, many atlas and Dvd's are available as an aid but not a replacement for dissection.

In education

Most medical schools require that students complete a course in gross human anatomy. Such courses aim to educate students in basic human anatomy and seek to establish anatomical landmarks that may later be used to aid medical diagnosis. Many schools provide students with cadavers for investigation by dissection, aided by dissectors such as Grant's Dissector, as well as cadaveric atlases (e.g. Rohen's).

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