I though Forensic Pathology would be relatively easy, considering I had survived two years of cadaver dissection without queasiness.
But the thing about forensics is that it doesn’t smell like formalin. We had two decomposing bodies come in today. And they did not resemble formalin.
The thing about cadavers was that you did not know how they had died – you were not allowed to know. But you did know that no foul play had been expected, otherwise there would be little left to dissect. Now we get to know what happened to the freshly (or not so freshly) dead: in fact, it’s our job to figure it out.
The flipside is this: I have never grasped anatomy quite like I do now, after only two days in the Forensic Pathology laboratory. Organs look like they should (unless they don’t, like eviscerated bowl or oedematous brain). They look very close to what Netter tells us they should.
I said before how fortunate we are that we get to dissect cadavers. Perhaps now I feel a little different. Blasphemous as it feels, I wonder if two years of dissection helped me any at all. Because organs doused in formalin look nothing like this. I used my imagination more than I probably should have. And they wonder why we suck at anatomy?
But organs doused in formalin look like soft plastic, unreal. Fresh organs move and squelch and yield softly under a knife. And I had just recently overcome my fear of cooking.
So it’s kiwi fruit, for now…