From Drs. Glenn Conroy and Jane Phillips-Conroy

What advice can we give you from the perspective of our many years’ teaching Anatomy here at WUSM? (62 combined Phillips/Conroy years and counting …) The most important thing we can say to you is that we love teaching Anatomy, and our hope is that we will be successful in communicating that love and enthusiasm to you. And before you get your academic careers too far underway, we’re alerting you to our hope that some of you will return to the course to teach with us — either as an MSTP TA, a fourth-year student in a teaching elective, or even years beyond, as a resident.

  • Don’t let the huge amount of material overwhelm you. You will definitely not KNOW anatomy by the end of the course, but you will have achieved a level of familiarity and knowledge that you would never have imagined when you began the journey.
  • Enjoy the experience. Anatomy lab is a vital, wonderful place. You have to attend lab to pass the course, but you will soon find that you learn more there than you’ve ever learned anywhere: What lies beneath the skin reveals human commonality and individuality as written in the pattern of blood vessels, nerves, and muscles.
  • Talk LOTS to your lab partners and the faculty. We love teaching you … corral us if we don’t get to you as often as you’d like. Tell us you’d like more visits. Don’t be shy.
  • Consider carefully the wisdom of accepting upper-class students’ “advice” that you don’t need to work hard in Year 1. You do! Not competing is not the same as not working hard. Honor the wishes of the donors, your future patients, and the sacrifices made by your parents by learning as much as you can.
  • Have fun. This is not incompatible with learning!
  • Take advantage of the many intellectual delicacies and delights offered you as a student at this most amazing institution.
  • Don’t forget to sample from the artistic buffet that St. Louis offers. Go to the symphony!
  • There’s more to eat here (and much better foods for you) than fried ravioli. Offset your 60 percent (free) pizza diet with fresh fruit and vegetables. If your diet consists mostly of white food you’re in trouble.
  • Realize that important, lifelong relationships may be forged in the Anatomy lab. We speak from experience!

Jane Phillips-Conroy, PhD
Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology and of Anthropology
Coursemaster, The Human Body: Anatomy, Development, and Imaging

Glenn Conroy, MPhil, PhD
Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology and of Anthropology
Coursemaster, The Human Body: Anatomy, Development, and Imaging