Previous Student's Testimony on the Educational Value of Actual Labs Involving Dissection with Specimen

"This was certainly one of the most interesting labs of the course.  I am take away at how similar the digestive anatomy of a pig is to that of a human.  I think I have said this for every given dissection we have done, but I am coming to see just why these specific animal were selected, because of this similarity.  Furthermore, each dissection has made me realise why they use pig features, sheep features, and bovine features for medical transplant in humans.  This similarity is amazing.

"The dissection itself went very well.  The cuts I made were quite simple and I was able to follow the directions and perform them in such a way that it left the pig with ample viewing angle and anatomically intact.  The first think I noticed, as the video remarks, was the size of the liver.  It is quite large in comparison to surrounding organs.  It definitely dominated the abdominopelvic cavity of the subject pig I had.  The next fascination I took was the length of the small intestine.  Sure, I was always understood they were lengthy but 3.2 meters is astonishing, it was taller that I am at 6' 3".  It was relatively easy to identify organs immediately upon access, they were clean and clear.  It appears that my subject had dye injected not the circulatory system after death as a majority of the blood arterial blood vessels were blue in color.  It is possible that this was also from a chemical reaction with preservatives.  I will yield to experts on this as I do not know the history of my subject.

"The biggest take away, for me personally, from this dissection was how durable things are.  Despite my pokes, cuts, prods, and manipulation the interior organs remained in tact and moved without issue.  It was very comforting considering the amount of stress I put on my body as a teenager and kid.  It is my hope that my organs look clean and neat as my pig subject's.  All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this lab.  I have heard from friends that are military doctors that the Army and Airforce used to (unsure if still do) trains for trauma scenarios on pigs as they were closest to humans.  Ethics aside, I can totally see why they were used."

Instructor's Response

"...thank you for providing feedback. Many students do not correlate the reason why dissections are important, or why we choose the structures/organisms to dissect.  I am personally an animal advocate, and I have reservations about unnnecessary dissections. Upon extraction, fetal pigs have blue latex injected into veins and red into arteries. I appreciate your considerate feedback." -Dr. Mehus