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Are people aware of their anatomy?

Gulf News asked residents to name the location of three anatomical organs from a checklist. Here’s how they scored


Not quite sure of what to expect, Gulf News quizzed residents on their knowledge of the human anatomy. Each of them was asked to locate three anatomical parts from a list. Here are their answers.

The list

Appendix: A small, pouch-like sac of tissue located in the first part of the colon win the lower- right abdomen.

Thyroid: The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple.

Oesophagus: This is a long, muscular tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. It’s around 25cm (10in) long in adults.

Liver: It is located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, below the diaphragm.

Kidneys: These are a pair of bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine, below your ribs and behind your belly.

Brain: This super smart organ is located inside your skull (or head).

Adrenal gland: They are found above the kidneys.

Lungs: The two lungs are located near the backbone on either side of the heart.

Pancreas: This is located in the abdominal cavity behind the stomach. (The pancreas is a singular noun. Plural of pancreas is pancreases or pancreata).

Stephanie Dempsey, UK, works in a school

Appendix: Correct

Oesophagus: Correct

Pancreas: Correct

“It is useful to know your anatomical structure if you’re working with children or a large group of people, because if somebody suddenly takes ill and has pain in a particular spot, you could be of help even if you are not a medical expert. Obviously, the last time I learned about the body’s anatomical structure was at school, but I’ve also been a fitness instructor in the past and it was part of the training. Knowing where the various organs are located might not help you diagnose a problem but it might give you an inkling of what might be wrong. Unless you set out to find out about your anatomy, the informaiton doesn’t automatically come to you.”

Marie Licudo, 22, Filipino

Brain: Correct

Thyroid gland: Wrong

Oesophagus: Correct

“Knowing about anatomy helps you understand your health and ailments better, so you can get the correct treatment before it turns into something serious. Also, it helps you easily explain to the doctor what the problem is, and that eventually speeds up the diagnosis. The last time I studied about the body parts was in the biology class, which was four years ago.”

Shibin Raj, India, technician

Kidneys: Wrong

Adrenal gland: Wrong

Liver: Correct

“I learned about anatomy in school and [later on] from reading up on it. I believe having knowledge of the body organs is important for every individual because you don’t know what situations you can be in and sometimes, you can face a medical situation and have no clue what could be the reason or how serious it is. With no knowledge, we might also easily get misled with what we read online or self-medicate. When visiting the doctor, it also becomes easier to explain to them and it also helps the doctor diagnose the condition faster.”

Afshan Rasheed, medical student from India

Lungs: Correct

Appendix: Correct

Liver: Correct

“As a medical student, we have to learn about the anatomical structure during the first year itself, but for others, it’s equally important to have this basic knowledge because if something starts hurting, they should be able to understand its cause. Depending on the pain, they know what could be the probable reason. Knowing the location and knowing what is causing pain in a certain part of the body, is more helpful [rather than having no knowledge of it].

Hisham Ezat, Egypt, works in real estate

Brain: Correct

Thyroid gland: Correct

Oesophagus: Correct

“ It is crucial to know where these different organs are located because, if God forbid, a person faces a medical problem, they can explain to a doctor in a more accurate manner about their problem. Is it in the region of the kidney, the food pipe, or in the heart? For example, if a child is not feeling well and we call a doctor for help, we need to know what the child is experiencing to be able to inform the doctor. I believe we need to make people aware of the importance of this knowledge; people should already know about it.”

Sharon Smith, Sweden, radiologist

Kidneys: Correct

Adrenal gland: Wrong

Liver: Wrong

“Basically if you experience pain, you can think of what’s happening or which part is hurting you. It’s always vital to have basic anatomical knowledge because that knowledge will determine your actions later on in terms of how you react to helping others or helping yourself. There are many people who try to learn about their condition by reading articles online. [This] knowledge is good but how you apply that knowledge is better. For me, it was mainly what I learned through school and later on in my life during a course.”

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