Rachel PrenticeAug 28, 2013
Bodies in Formation
An Ethnography of Anatomy and Surgery Education
Duke University Press 2013
Rachel Prentice's new book blends methodological approaches from science studies and anthropology to produce a riveting account of anatomical and surgical education in twenty-first century North America. Bodies in Formation: An Ethnography of Anatomy and Surgery Education (Duke University Press, 2013) carefully considers three field sites in which physical interaction is crucial to the development of medical knowledge: anatomy labs in which students dissect human cadavers, operating rooms that serve as spaces for surgical training, and design labs that are creating the body as a "computational object" at the same time that they produce technologies for simulating surgery and dissection or virtually enabling it from afar. Prentice offers a fascinating window into the aspects of medical education that produce the technical, ethical, and affective modes of the medical and surgical self. It is a sensorily-grounded, embodied ethnography that considers its bodies - of cadavers, of surgeons, of computer programs, of students, of patients - simultaneously as material entities and active participants in the narrative. Enjoy!