26. The pen is mightier than the sword.




This is what surgeons say when they gather. "That patient needs to feel the taste of the blade." This means that the patient needs a surgery. Surgeons often use blades when performing surgeries so they use the word blade a lot. They call surgery cutting and they call themselves butchers. This may seem as lowering the respectability of the surgeons, but it actually gives them a sense of pride. Unlike physicians who cure with medicines, the word surgeon has a meaning of wild in it.

Anatomists use blades a lot also. They use scissors and forceps, but the main tool is the blade. In the word anatomy, tomy means cutting with blades. In Chinese letters of anatomy, it all has the letter of blade in it.

Surgeons use blades to destroy and build. For example, cutting cancer tissues is destroying and transplanting organs is building. However, anatomists use blades only to destroy. They dissect and take tissues and organs out of the body. They are like villains in a movie.




Unlike these anatomists, artists build the human body. When anatomists dissect limbs, they peel the skin and cut the muscles to see the bones. When artists draw limbs, they draw bones first, and then they draw muscles and skin on top of it. If anatomy is a science of destruction, fine arts is an art of creation.



Dr. Anatophil 754.BMPDr. Anatophil 754.BMP


I met a foreigner and told him that I was an anatomist. Then he asked me his questions in English. "What is the difference between a butcher and an anatomist?" In Korean, pronunciation of butcher and Buddha are similar so I misunderstood him, thinking that he was asking about the difference between the Buddha and anatomists. Therefore, I answered him reflecting on the principles of Buddhism and anatomy. "Buddha worked for religious issues, but an anatomist works for science." I later found out that I misunderstood. In his actual question, he was asking because butcher and anatomists both use knives. Therefore, I answered again. "Butcher will study to cut meats better, but anatomists study more. Actually, anatomists spend more time on studying than dissecting. Knives are strong, but the pen is mightier than the sword."




Anatomy exams that medical students take are divided into written test and practical test. A written exam has more parts, and a student asked about this. "Didn't you say to anatomists that practice is important? Also, isn't there more time given for practical practices than lecture? So really, why is a written exam more important?" I answered in the same way. "Then pen is mightier than the sword."

When people analyze about some things, they say they dissect. For example, the media says it is dissecting social issues. I as an anatomist think like this. "How can you cut social issues? Reporters do not actually cut, but they write, so it can be seen as they dissect with their pen. As reporters have powers, the saying The pen is mightier than the sword is right."