Pioneers in Human Anatomy

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Virginia Tech Publishing


Pioneers in Human Anatomy provides an opportunity for those who may be interested in those pioneers in anatomy or who may have learned (or forgotten) some eponymonic descriptions in the past, to test their knowledge (or memory) of these historical designations or to link particular individuals to anatomical structures and features previously unknown. While students and teachers of anatomy may might have a professional interest in knowing who, in the history of anatomy, has been associated with a particular structure, others including medical historians, biographers and medical artist might also find this information of interest.

This collection of free-answer quiz questions is divided into three sections. In the first section a brief description of an anatomical structure, feature, tissue, cell or pathway is presented followed by a blank line in which the reader may insert the name(s) of the individual(s) commonly associated with that structure, feature, tissue or pathway. The descriptions and individuals included here are limited to those associated with the four traditional sub-disciplines of anatomy: gross anatomy, neuroanatomy, microscopic anatomy and developmental anatomy. Within these major anatomical subdisciplines, the descriptions are further categorized to better organize the material.

Some eponyms have come into the literature because that individual was the first to report on a particular topic (aqueduct of Sylvius) or may have provided the most definitive description of the topic (Parkinson disease). Others recognize the committed effort or discovery of a single individual (islets of Langerhan) while others signify the combined or collaborative efforts of two or more dedicated persons (Marchiafava-Bignami disease). Some refer to normal structures (Hunter’s canal) or functions (Starling’s law), while many others relate to abnormal observations (Babinski sign). Countless numbers are associated with diseases (Tay-Sachs disease) or injuries (Colle’s fracture), procedures for evaluating functions (McMurray’s test) or techniques for treating specific disease or injuries (Epply maneuver). Eponymonic designations are used to identify tools and surgical instruments invented for particular purposes (Kerrison Rongeur) and surgical procedures (Whipple procedure). Some eponyms are associated with other, frequently more descriptive terms (Poupart’s ligament / inguinal ligament) while others indicate structures, processes or procedures for which no other name exists (McBurney’s point). As can be appreciated from this brief synopsis, eponyms are well ingrained into almost all facets of medicine.



human anatomy; eponyms; reference; science; medicine; workbook