Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Pathology class takes trip to the morgueBy Sarah Malczynski, student writer
In an effort to provide real life experience for students, Sumit Dinda, assistant professor of medical laboratory science, took his Pathology class to a local morgue. On Nov. 13, Dinda and his students witnessed an autopsy being performed on a body at the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office. The field trip was an observational experience for medical students interested in health sciences, primarily pathology.
|Professor Dinda's Pathology class visits the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office to witness an autopsy.|
At the medical examiner’s office, students were able to observe an actual autopsy being performed on the body of an individual who had recently died of a heroin overdose. As the students stood behind glass looking into an autopsy room, they were able to view the organs being examined and ask questions about particular aspects of the procedure being performed. They were also privileged to a lecture by the medical examiner, who explained in detail the procedure and how the cause of death was determined.
“One of the things that was interesting to me was the ease with which the medical examiner performed the autopsy,” said Michael Heuninckx, a junior in the School of Health Sciences. “It is such a daily occurrence for them to cut open a body and tear the organs out.”
In Dinda’s class prior to the field trip, students studied the pathological basis for different diseases and attempted to determine the cause of illness in diseased bodies or the cause of death in deceased ones. With the opportunity to witness an autopsy and see the organs first hand, these students could observe the diseases affecting the body being examined.
“We saw a drug-overdosed body during the autopsy. Prior to going to the morgue, we had studied the liver and other organs and what they looked like being affected by a drug overdose, so the students were able to relate what they studied in their text with what they witnessed during the autopsy,” Dinda said.
Dinda contacted the director of the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office in August to reserve a date for the field trip. Although he was not able to secure a visit for the winter 2008 semester due to a long waiting list, he would like to continue providing this opportunity for students in the future.
“Because it is such a unique experience, the Health Sciences department would like to make this a regular occurrence for students every semester,” Dinda said.
The field trip was made possible by the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Health Sciences Department. For more information, visit the School of Health Sciences Web site.