Anatomy is the science of form and structure, forming together with Physiology
the "two sides to a coin". The word anatomy is derived from the Greek
words ana, which means apart, and temnein, which means cut or disect.
Historical background - The pioneers in the field of medicine are briefly
discussed, Hippocrates (460-370 be) being singled out as the "Father of
Medicine" and one of the earliest pioneers of experimental science in this field.
He was the founder of moral ethics in medicine. The first School for Medicine
was established in Padua, where Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) practised the
dissecting of cadavers, especially on the blood-vascular and musculo-sceletal
systems, which were his main fields of interest.
Teaching of Anatomy at the University of Pretoria
Various aspects of the teaching of Anatomy at the University of Pretoria are
discussed. It is pointed out for instance, that the University of Pretoria was the
first institution to introduce the 1st-year course in Anatomy in the RSA in
1972. This example was followed by other faculties of medicine.
It is proposed that the subjects Botany and Zoology (in the first year of study)
should be replaced by the study of Structure and Function of the Human Body
as this would enable students, especially in their clinical years, to have acquired
a wider knowledge of the subject of applied medicine.
The importance of dissection in the 2nd year of study cannot be overemphasized,
as proficiency is acquired in finding and identifying specific structures in
a body. Knowledge acquired in this way is never forgotten .
The 3rd year Anatomy for BMedSci-students is a practical course in which
special attention is given to the teaching of light- and Electronmicroscopic
techniques, should a student with this degree be interested in research work in
any medical dissipline.
Postgraduate and paramedical courses in Applied Anatomy are also discussed.
The Anatomy Museum - The Department of Anatomy is very proud of its
museum, where annotated specimens of different areas of the human body
are displayed. This museum is often used for study as well as examination purposes.