Do you enjoy studying the form and structure of animal bodies? Are you interested in performing systematic observations and dissections of muscles, tissues, and organs? Where you fascinated with the make up of the human body when you took CHA 101/EXB 106? If so, a career as an Anatomist may be a great fit!
What is an Anatomist?
According to schoolsintheusa.com, an Anatomist is someone who specializes in the body structure of organisms, and has played an important role in the research and discovery of organisms and their function for centuries. A career as an Anatomist can be very rewarding, because it allows you to explore what is normally hidden from view and discover how structure relates to function. There are a variety of different systems Anatomists can specialize in depending on their interests. Some examples of these include the endocrine system, lymphatic system, cardiovascular system, and skeletal system.
Anatomists also specialize in different species other than the human body depending on their field of work. Because the structures of most mammalian bodies have many similarities, Anatomists will typically draw inferences from existing knowledge to discover new purposes for the existing structure of species and their organs.
The following is a list of typical tasks an Anatomist regularly performs:
- Examine large organs and organ systems through dissection
- Examine smaller structures such as tissues and cells using a microscope
- Compare structures across different species
- Utilize knowledge on the structural form of organisms to solve medical problems
What type of education do Anatomists have?
An Anatomist will typically have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Chemistry, or any related field to biological, physical, or behavioral science. A masters degree in Anatomy is required to then work in a laboratory or for a private company. Most Anatomists also go on to earn a Doctoral degree to get a research or teaching position at a university or medical school.
Where do Anatomists work?
There are many different areas Anatomists can work. Most Anatomists either teach or do research in universities or medical centers where they help train scientists or various health care workers such as physicians, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists. Others may be employed by private companies, governmental agencies, or scientific publishing firms. Anatomists therefore spend most of their time in laboratories or class rooms, and must be flexible with working alone or as part of a team.
Salary depends on the education of the Anatomist, and according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics the average pay is $75,160, and there is an expected 13% increase in employment.
There are various Graduate Programs in Anatomy across the country. You can explore these options to choose a program that best fits your interests and career goals. Here is a summary of the resources used in this blog to help you gather more information on becoming an Anatomist:
Hopefully this spotlight on becoming an Anatomist has peaked your interest or helped you identify some of your career goals. Good luck!
BASC Peer Adviser
Biological Sciences Major