ScopeFaculty profile

Anthony Hewetson, MS

Faculty associate for Medical Education and Cell Biology and Biochemistry for the School of Medicine

In the 1980s and ’90s, Anthony Hewetson, MS, studied zoology and worked as a field biologist, developing a strong interest in comparative vertebrate anatomy. However, in 1998, his career took a turn when he started working as a research technician in the molecular biology lab of Vaughn Lee, PhD, former professor of anatomy at TTUHSC.

Together, they realized that Hewetson wasn’t going to become a molecular biologist — but he would make an excellent anatomy instructor. He enrolled in anatomy courses in the Graduate Medical Education Sciences program and, in 2003, earned a certification in human anatomy.

In addition to Lee, Hewetson said, Branislav Vidic, PhD, and Bernell K. Dalley, PhD, (retired TTUHSC faculty) were critical in developing his skills in dissection and as an instructor.

Using a balance of lectures and hands-on dissection, Hewetson now teaches medical students about anatomical systems and structures, instilling a clear grasp of the three-dimensionality of the human body.

“They need to know how a nerve feels different from an artery, a tendon, a ligament or a muscle,” he said. “You can’t get that kind of tactile impression from just looking at a picture.”

Hewetson also trains future anatomy teaching assistants through his Advanced Dissection Skills course, which he describes as an apprenticeship program. In 15 three-hour sessions, he guides and observes students as they dissect a cadaver, assessing and improving their technique and teaching ability along the way.

Whether he’s teaching medical students or future anatomists, Hewetson wants all of his students to recognize the importance of understanding anatomy.

“Anatomy is one of several languages they have to learn before becoming a doctor,” he said. “They have to be able to communicate effectively to patients, to not just explain a condition but the impact on other systems.”

Anthony Hewetson, MS
Neal Hinkle