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For Immediate Release: August 13, 2001
Contact: DMS Communications (603) 650-1520
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Dartmouth Medical School Hosts National Exhibit: Anatomy of Anatomy: In Images and Words

Hanover, NH Dartmouth Medical School will exhibit ANATOMY OF ANATOMY, the work of photojournalist Meryl Levin beginning August 30. The exhibit, located in Rockefeller Center, remains in place until September 7. For more information please contact, Lisa Bertrand.

ANATOMY OF ANATOMY takes the visitor on an investigation of the physical, emotional, and ethical demands medical students must address as they they prepare for careers as physicians. The exhibition's 22 photographs, which span the four-month period of a Cornell Medical School gross anatomy course, capture the intensity with which these students struggle to comprehend and master the volumes of knowledge related to the human body.

This traveling exhibition is comprised of text and photographs selected from Levin's recent book, ANATOMY OF ANATOMY (Third Rail Press, Nov. 2000). Both the book and exhibition are made possible by support from the Open Society Institute's Project on Death In America. Support from the Project on Death in America makes it possible to provide copies of the book to students at the educational centers where the exhibition is displayed.

The installation juxtaposes photographs of the students with excerpts from their journals, revealing their personal progression from initial apprehension, to discovery, to ethical questioning, and, finally, to a remarkable respect and appreciation - both for the process they have completed and for the generosity of those who willed their bodies to medical education. The project provides students with a tool for learning, and for non-medical viewers, it offers the opportunity to understand the complex training involved in medical training. Dedicating her book to the donors, Levin says, "I have never before witnessed a gift that is honored, respected, and consumed so completely."

The book has a forward by author and physician Abraham Verghese, Grover E. Murray Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Texas Tech University in El Paso. In recounting his own study as a student so many years before, he says, "I struggle to this day to find words for that seminal year, for the way it marked my transition into this life of a clinician, and the way it has shaped my world view. Indeed, words alone cannot do it, cannot quite do justice to that year. And that is why these remarkable photographs, and the accompanying written thoughts of students going through the same rite are so powerful."

Meryl Levin, a New York City based photojournalist, is a 1988 graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Over the past decade, she has focused her camera primarily on issues of health and social welfare. During that period, she came to understand medical care from the patient's point of view. With ANATOMY OF ANATOMY, her first book, Levin explores a long-standing curiosity about "the other side" - the making of a physician. Levin received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 1994, and the Fellowship from the Open Society Institute's, Project on Death in America, in 2000. Her photographs have been published worldwide and she continues to work on long-term, documentary projects in the United States and abroad.

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