Anatomy word of the month: hiatus

February 1, 2010 —

The Latin word for “an opening, a gaping mouth”.  The diaphragm, the muscular partition that divides the chest from the abdomen, has three openings.  The aorta, esophagus and inferior vena cava each pass through a hiatus in the diaphragm.  You likely have seen this word before when your favorite TV show took a break for the summer.  This opening or gap in the schedule is called “going on hiatus” until Fall.


Dr. Dyche was born in New Jersey and trained at Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center before coming to Des Moines in 1976. Over 30 plus years he has taught gross anatomy, embryology and neuroanatomy. He also served in administration as associate dean for basic sciences, dean of the College of Health Sciences, and acting director of the PA program. He was one of the founding instructors of CPR and ACLS at a time when few medical schools offered this training. He retired to Oregon in 2008, then returned to DMU in 2009. Did he miss the tornadoes, the below zero wind chills or the cadavers?