Narrated by Dr. Sarah Shah while in her second year of medical college:
Anatomy is not the only subject taught in the first two years of medical college. At this period of time, we were immersed in the intricacies of Physiology and Biochemistry of the human body as well. In fact, I loved the Physiology Practicals. They were lots of fun because here, in the laboratory, we learnt baseline clinical skills, like measuring our blood sugar or blood pressure.
To gauge the difference between resting and post exercise blood pressure, we had to run laps around the college, and it was entertaining, when the weather was good, not so when the weather was forty five degrees centigrade in the shade. Just to add a quick fun fact, and the reason why we had to gallop like camels in heat around the campus: the systolic blood pressure increases after exercise while the diastolic measurements always remain the same. To be more specific, during aerobic exercise, the systolic pressure should gradually increase as the heart beats harder and faster and the arteries contract to pump more oxygen-rich blood. However, because the arteries in the working muscles start to dilate rather than constrict, the net result normally is little change in the diastolic pressure.
Another somewhat entertaining practical that would appeal to little boys, was to dissect frogs in the laboratory. Not to identify the anatomical structures like when we dissected them in school, but to understand physiological processes like skeletal and cardiac muscle fatigue. Our frogs were “grown” in an immense amphibian tank outside the laboratory, near the college courtyard, under a large shady banyan tree. It was always damp there, and the ground was spongy. Probably to create a comfortable environment for the hapless animals. Therefore, we had quite an adequate supply of the live amphibians for our experiments but since we didn’t want to unnecessarily hurt or decimate them, we tried to keep the numbers down as much as possible. But some people, like my unamusing lab partner used to get their juvenile thrills by putting frogs into their neighbors’ pockets. Not funny!