Skip to main content

Book Review: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

As medical students we are stigmatized: everyone thinks we are nerds who study only books related to the finer aspects of human biology. And without doubt, some of us are. I always feel a pang of horror, and even more than that, depression, when I see my friends carrying puny little bags filled beyond their capacity with the inestimably atrocious works of Guyton, Ganong, Keith L. Moore, Costanzo, and the all-time favorite BD Chaurasia. It is a source of inexpressible wonder to me how these people can cope with so much and not become Dr. Jekyll.
But medical students read other books too. At least some of them do. And among these, probably the best in business right now is Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. By now, you must be hardened enough (read dheet) not to whimper at the mention of a cadaver. Indeed some of you have already formed a long-lasting relationship of dissection with the rotting, eviscerated body lying all by itself in the Anatomy DH, giving off a putrid smell we all try to avoid.

Stiff is neither a textbook on dissection nor a fictitious tale with a Twilight-like ending. It is a book based on facts, but these gory facts are arranged in such a way that you will either die of laughing or start contemplating on gehri bateein.
It is sad that I can’t go chapter by chapter into the details. After all, I don’t want to bore you off, and plus, you can read all that up on the Internet. And the book. If you ever get the wit to do it.
From anatomy murders committed for the sake of providing bodies for dissection to public surgeries with an aura of uncomfortability (hem hem), Stiff has everything to shock you and surprise you. For instance, did you know that dead humans dipped in honey were actually fed to the sick to cure them?
No, I bet you didn’t. And you won’t know most of the other things this book has to offer. Read it, if you can. Beware!

   

Comments

  1. Finally! D breaks the silence and a good review,too! But why do I get the feeling that you have ended it rather abruptly,D? A couple more tidbits in a para or two would have added a nice 'academic' bulk to the review.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

We'd love your feedback !

Popular posts from this blog

Lecture Slides: Urology; Renal cell Carcinoma

1st Year IMPORTANT TOPICS (Anatomy)

By Farkhanda QaiserOkay finally here it is. The all-important guide for the 1st year students. I’ve compiled all the prof and sendup questions of last year as well as the remnants of class tests that I had.But before you go on to read them, keep in mind the following very tested tidbits:For profs, NEVER leave any topic untouched and unread. Go through all topics so that in viva, you have atleast some idea about what the examiner is asking.NEVER lose your sendup question paper because there are high chances that some of the questions will be repeated in profs as you can see in the following example of anatomy question paper and same goes for the MCQs. Most of them are repeated. So here’s what we had done, in our facebook class group, we had made a discussion topic, and everyone told the MCQs of sendups and discussed them. Well, you may think us nerds or whatever but trust me that discussion proved very fruitful for all those who participated in it.I think enough has bin said about orga…

USMLE Step 1 Experience by Ayaz Mehmood (Score : 99/266)

USMLE Step 1 Experience by Ayaz Mehmood (Score : 99/266)
Salam everyone, let me start in the name of Allah who’s the greatest benefactor of all mankind. I am going to write a detailed composition regarding preparation for USMLE Step 1. I am a final year student at King Edward Medical University and I took my exam on June 10th. Final year is the year before internship/ house job in Pakistan. I just got my scores: 99/266



Let me introduce some myths surrounding USMLE Step 1 which are especially prevalent within Pakistan; I am not too sure about India because I heard their students typically appear in their final years.


 Myth number 1:Do not appear for USMLE Step 1 within your graduation

 Verdict: Baseless, illogical reasoning

Explanation: This is so prevalent in Pakistan it’s almost pathetic. One of the biggest concerns surrounding our students is that Step 1 is a huge risk to be taken before graduation. Let me put it in another way: Step1 would always remain a risk whenever it is taken, …