The six first-year med students approach the table, the place where for the next seven weeks they'll spend so much time, it will seep into their dreams. They brace themselves to meet him. Him, their cadaver.
For some, even those who have lost a loved one, it's the closest they've ever been to a corpse. But soon enough, these students will spend their days inches away from this man's body, cutting through his skin, peeling back the fat, and trimming away the fascia—those bits of densely woven tissue that encase the body's innards—to see his stomach and liver and bones. Soon enough they'll pull on his tendons and watch as his toes wiggle in turn. They'll cut his digestive system from esophagus to rectum, making much ado about the smell. They'll hold his heart in their hands, and they'll saw open his skull to remove his brains.
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