The extinction of mental health practice?

  • Máire MacNeill
  • Published 1994 in
    The American journal of occupational therapy…


I heartily agree with Caryl E. Peterson, author of "The Issue Is Austemy and the Cadaver" (January 1994, pp. 87-88), that occupational therapy students need to know their anatomy and learn it properly in labs with human cadavers. A~ she stated, "charts and models can never take the place of the cadaver in developing a true understanding of the intricacies of human systems and a deep respect for the uniljueness of life" (p 87). In 1975, as an occupational therapv student at Downstate Medical Cemer in Brooklyn, New York, j [Ook an anawmy course that consisted of full cadaver dissection, not only of the musculoskeletal system but of the imernal organs as well. I will never forget the brachial plexus, flexor tendons, or the 32 feet of small intestine that j worked hard to find and identify. This learn-by-doing approach was most consistell[ with the philosophy of occupational therapy. I am most grateful to owanawmist, Jacqueline Jakway, and the occupational therapy faculty members who designed our excellent curriculum. which also included separate neuroanatomy. his[Ology, and kinesiology courses. Over the past 17 yeal-s, I have worked in pediatrics and all the areas of physical d)'sfunction, currently spccialil-ing in the hand and upper extremity. My knowledge of the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems enableu me to understand medical repons of acutely ill patients and converse intelligently with their physicians. Knowledge of neuroanatomy helped me correlate patients' behaviors and function deficits with brain lesions. Currently, as an occupational therapist specialiZing in hand therapy. [ use my knowledge of uppe[extremity anatomy constantl), in evaluation. treatment, and patient education As occupational therapists, particularly those of us practicing in physical dysfunetion, we mUSl strengthen. not weaken, our knowledge of basic human sciences. We must command the respect of referring physicians, other allied health professionals, and our patients, to compete in the current health care arena. Our educational programs must therefore not exclude human cadaver labs from their anatomy courses. Marilyn Petersen Lee, OTRIL. CHT Havertown, PA

Cite this paper

@article{MacNeill1994TheEO, title={The extinction of mental health practice?}, author={M{\'a}ire MacNeill}, journal={The American journal of occupational therapy : official publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association}, year={1994}, volume={48 9}, pages={855} }