Comic Cartoons of Anatomy


Min Suk Chung, MD, PhD (Professor, Department of Anatomy, Ajou University School of Medicine, Republic of Korea /

Jin Seo Park, PhD (Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Dongguk University School of Medicine, Republic of Korea /

Dae Hyun Kim (Student, The Lawrenceville School, NJ, USA /


Anatomy is regarded as a difficult course by medical students because of the large amount of material to be memorized and the human cadaver to be dissected. Therefore, attempts at improving the learning process are common. One helpful key to learning anatomy, for some, is learning the origin of the terms; for example, latissimus and longissimus in Latin means largest and longest, respectively. The etymology can be easily searched in a medical dictionary. The next key is how to memorize anatomy. For example, PAD means Palmar interosseus for ADduction, while DAB means Dorsal interosseus for ABduction. Some anatomy books provide tips to aid memorization such as PAD or DAB. Finally, the key is how to enjoy anatomy. Interestingly, median nerve has a nickname of counting nerve, since the paper currency is counted with the palmar surface of thumb, index finger, and middle finger, innervated by the median nerve. In many cases, the above-mentioned stories about anatomy are known to anatomists and clinicians, but not to students.In order to communicate stories about anatomy, cartoons were considered as a possible vehicle, which might aid the memory needed for learning anatomy. Prior attempts at using cartoons for learning anatomy were not successful because the cartoonists had no knowledge of human anatomy.

The purpose of our cartoons was to improve the process and ability to memorize human anatomy by anatomists. To achieve this, cartoons, each of which was composed of four cuts, were drawn by experienced anatomists. During ten years, the humorous cartoons of 550 episodes have been produced in the Korean language for distribution over the Internet. Some of the cartoons recently have been translated into English for wide spread use.



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