Anatomy at the University of Missouri

Anatomical instruction for beginning medical students in this country followed a uniform format in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Anatomy coursework at MU can be traced back to 1841, with a connection to the medical department of Kemper College in St. Louis. A medical department was established in Columbia in 1873.

The University's distance from larger cities presented challenges for its emerging medical program. Larger cities could more easily provide the patients necessary for students to gain practical experience, and penitentiaries, asylums, poor-houses, and coroner's offices could provide cadavers for anatomical study. Lack of refrigeration, slower transportation, and laws concerning the distribution of human bodies, all made providing specimens more difficult for a university not located in a larger urban setting.