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Students as resurrectionists—A multimodal humanities project in anatomy putting ethics and professionalism in historical context



Because medical students have many different learning styles, the authors, medical students at Mayo Clinic, College of Medicine researched the history of anatomical specimen procurement, reviewing topic-related film, academic literature, and novels, to write, direct, and perform a dramatization based on Robert Louis Stevenson's The Body-Snatcher. Into this performance, they incorporated dance, painting, instrumental and vocal performance, and creative writing. In preparation for the performance, each actor researched an aspect of the history of anatomy. These micro-research projects were presented in a lecture before the play. Not intended to be a research study, this descriptive article discusses how student research and ethics discussions became a theatrical production. This addition to classroom and laboratory learning addresses the deep emotional response experienced by some students and provides an avenue to understand and express these feelings. This enhanced multimodal approach to“holistic learning” could be applied to any topic in the medical school curriculum, thoroughly adding to the didactics with history, humanities, and team dynamics. Anat Sci Educ 3:244–248, 2010. © 2010 American Association of Anatomists.