The Anatomical Basis of Medical Practice (NSFW)

September 10th, 2012 | Brain

The Anatomical Basis of Medical Practice is a controversial medical textbook that Duke professors, R. Frederick Becker, James S. W. Wilson, and John A. Gehweiler, created in 1971 to inspire young medical students to learn anatomy.  Duke underwent an overhaul to its medical curriculum in 1966 that lead to a drastic reduction to its anatomy training.  Dr. Becker, though passionate in his teaching, was known to be rather eccentric.  In fact, he had cut-outs of Male & Female Playboy Centerfolds posted around his office that he used to teach students surface anatomy.  Dr. Becker was quoted discussing his controversial book:

“In our own student days we discovered that studying surface anatomy with a wife or girlfriend proved to be not only instructive, but highly entertaining. Since the majority of medical students still tend to be males, we have liberalized this text by making use of the female form. But, more to the point, we have done so because a large portion of your future patients will be women and few texts have pointed out surface landmarks on the female.”

This book was eventually banned as the feminist movement strengthened, but it should be noted that “robust, healthy males” were also included in the book for the female medical students.

I personally don’t get offended by much, so I don’t really have a problem with the text; however, I do understand why it might be dangerous to sexualize medical training. Patients are an extremely vulnerable segment of the population, and it’s probably for the best to keep this kind of book out of the classroom.  With that being said, I still find it highly entertaining.

-RSB

(via Street Anatomy)

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