Anatomy word of the month: acromion

July 1, 2010 —

Feel that bump on the top of your shoulder? This is the highest point of your shoulder and is the exact meaning of the term combining two Greek words meaning “tip, summit or extreme” and “shoulder”. In some individuals their growth hormone continues to overproduce after they have become mature but their long bones have stopped growing. Instead of becoming “giants”, unusually tall, parts of their body including the lower jaw, brows, nose, hands and feet become enlarged. This condition is called acromegaly combining two Greek words meaning enlarged tips or extremities. Have you heard of the acropolis in Athens? In ancient Greece the “highest point of the city” was the place to fortify and build important temples such as the Parthenon of the goddess Athena.

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?