D is for Dead Body


Okay, this is not pleasant for almost everyone else, but this smell was certainly integral to my life as a teacher of human anatomy.  I taught in a dissection lab for over 40 years and the smell of the embalmed bodies is one that lingers – not in just memory but also on your clothes.  If I were in an elevator after class, there would always be someone who would wrinkle up their nose and say, “What IS that smell?” When the medical students joked about it, I’d remind them that I’d smelled like that for decades, whereas they only had a semester at best to deal with it!  My lab coats are wrapped in plastic in the closet because, even after years of washing, they still have the faint odor of my profession.


5 thoughts on “D is for Dead Body

  1. I used to get the dry heaves passing by the honors biology classroom in high school b/c of the formaldehyde. My non-honours teacher wanted me to go into the honours class the following year but I refused, mostly b/c of the smell. lol

    • I can understand that feeling – I have med students who have to work through the emotions of the anatomy lab, but they all managed in different ways! Send me your blogsite? Noelle

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