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Integrated medical curricular changes are altering the historical regional anatomy approach to abdominal dissection. The renal system is linked physiologically and biochemically to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, yet anatomist often approach the urinary system as part of the abdomen and pelvic regions. As part of an integrated curriculum, the renal system must be covered relatively quickly after the thorax in the cadaver lab, often without the opportunity to fully appreciate the rest of the abdominal contents. This paper provides dissection instructions that follow the one of the historical surgical approaches for nephrectomy, including preservation of the posterior abdominal wall neurovasclature. Dissection procedures were developed for first year medical students, intending this posterior approach to the kidneys to be their first introduction to the renal system. It has been successfully implemented with first year medical students at the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine. Utilizing this posterior approach to the kidney enabled the study of the anatomy of the kidneys, suprarenal glands and renal vessels, as well as the muscles of the lumbar spine, while maintaining the integrity of the anterior abdominal wall and peritoneal cavity for future gastrointestinal and reproductive system-based dissections.


This is the accepted version of the following article: Daly FJ, Bolender DL, Jain D, Uyeda S, Hoagland T (2015) Posterior approach to kidney dissection: An old surgical approach for integrated medical curricula, Anatomical Sciences Education, (electronically available March 2015), DOI 10.1002/ase.1520, which has been published in final form at



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