In the cadaver labs at America's colleges and universities, first year medical students are asked to face death to pull at it, dig it up and cut it apart, all in the hope of understanding the body and the life that once belonged to it. Through her camera lens, social documentary photographer Meryl Levin, has captured the essence of what these physicians-in-training grapple with in gross anatomy class. A traveling exhibition of her book, Anatomy of Anatomy and its photographs will be on display at the UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center October 8 through 12.

Levin photographed first-year medical students dissecting cadavers at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in 1998. Anatomy of Anatomy contains those images and excerpts from journals written by students throughout the course of the lab.

A slide presentation by the photographer, with UNM students reading from the Cornell students' journals and a panel discussion aimed at addressing the diverse feelings and experiences of anatomical dissection will be held Tuesday, October 9 at 3:30 p.m. in room 203 of the Basic Medical Sciences Building. A reception and photography exhibition will follow the discussion. The exhibition will take place on the third floor of the library. Levin will also distribute free copies of her book to students present.

Through the generosity of individuals who have donated their bodies to medical education, students gain an appreciation for the intricacies of the body and the immense complexity of learning the muscles and nerves.

The book and traveling exhibition were made possible in part by a grant from the Open Society Institute's Project on Death in America.
Contact: HSC Public Affairs, 272-3322