AMSA to Display Inner-workings of Human Body

Priscilla D. Tasker

It’s not every day the general public gets the chance to see human organs strewn across a table, and on another a cadaver sliced from head to groin displaying its insides.

These will be some of the “attractions” at the American Medical Student Association’s Health Fair Feb. 24. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ralph Regula Conference Center on the campus of North Eastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in Rootstown.

The event’s purpose is to reach out to Portage County residents about common health issues and diseases, said Lindsey Konor, event coordinator and second-year medical student.

The AMSA health fair is an annual event that provides free health screenings for the public.

This year, coordinators wanted to go beyond the screening activities and information pamphlets. They wanted to spice up the tradition with the addition of new learning experiences, Konor said.

“We chose the name ‘The Body and Beyond,'” Konor said. “We want to show the inner-workings of the body not just anatomically, but in regards to diseases and how they affect the body.”

Event coordinators have planned a body and mind education extravaganza that will include four main educational focuses: general health, anatomy, relaxation and kids.

The addition Konor is most looking forward to is the anatomy lab, she said.

“When I took anatomy it was probably my favorite class. It’s really amazing every time you look at it,” she said. “Unless you are going into medicine you really don’t get to see this stuff.”

Organs such as a liver, spleen, heart and lung will be displayed for people to see and touch. Konor and her co-coordinator Jason Wang are working out a way to present a plasticized cadaver spliced in half, but are wary of displaying the entire body because of its graphic nature, Konor said.

They do plan to put the lab in a room separate from the rest of the fair so people may enter only if they want to, she said.

The heart of the fair will still be the health screenings provided by the American Medical Association. Students will perform some screenings under professional supervision, Konor said.

Each screening will have an educational counterpart, she said. Visitors will receive cardiovascular education at the blood pressure screening, obesity education upon receiving a body mass index evaluation, and diabetes information after taking the blood sugar test, she said.

Planned Parenthood will also be there to discuss sexually transmitted diseases. This is especially important for Kent State students and other college kids because of their age and circumstances, Konor said.

The health fair will not only focus on traditional health care, but also on alternative medicine.

Kathy Ligon, licensed acupuncturist and fourth-year medical student at NEOUCOM, will demonstrate acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medical practice in which the practitioner stimulates anatomical parts of the patient with long, metallic needles. Ligon will have a half hour time slot to talk about research in the field, demonstrate the technique and answer questions, Ligon said.

Contact health trends reporter Priscilla D. Tasker at [email protected].