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Grey's Anatomy: The real story

Updated on December 25, 2012

Henry Gray, a British anatomist, was author of an anatomy textbook that was self-published, for the first time, in 1858. He was born in 1827. As we can see, he was a fairly young person to be a lectureer on Anatomy at St. George's Hospital Medical School in London and the author of an anatomy textbook. He died, after publishing the second edition of his anatomy textbook in 1858, at the young age of 34. He was taking care of his nephew, who had smallpox, and the nephew lived, but Henry Gray died of that disease. Practicing medicine can be very dangerous to a physician's own health, even in today's world. Please note that the proper spelling of the name is Gray and not Grey. This is a small detail but it would have been important to Henry Gray.

The remarkable thing is that the Gray's anatomy textbook is still being updated and used for teaching anatomy, even at the present time. I like to call the edition of the Gray's anatomy textbook that is published in the United Kingdom the "British Gray's Anatomy Textbook." There is a difference between the Gray's anatomy textbook that is published in the United Kingdom and the editions that are published elsewhere. When I was a medical student I owned a British Gray's Anatomy textbook. It was a huge and heavy textbook that contain a broad range of materials, quality text, in addition to quality anatomical illustrations. I was very proud of my British Gray's Anatomy textbook. It was a very detailed textbook, and comprehensive, helping me to master "structure," that is human anatomy, that I would be able to use to help me understand "function," that is human physiology. Anatomy and physiology are cornerstones in the basic medical sciences curriculum and a medical student cannot hope to become a capable physician without this solid foundation in the basic medical sciences. There are other basic medical sciences such as histology, pathology and other subjects. But Anatomy and physiology are fundermental subjects that one must master for success in clinical medicine because they are foundational subjects.

At this point, I am beginning to question whether or not it is a good use of my time to elaborate in more detail on how a British Gray's Anatomy textbook motivated me to a productive primary health care provider and researcher in bone marrow transplantation/ (and immune system diseases). One again, if there are students or other interested persons who want to know more, I am willing to write more. I write to teach others. Your feedback is necessary if you would like for me to write more on this subject or any other subject.


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