Culture Online


Why don't doctors get disgusted by blood and guts?

When we are learning to become doctors, we spend lots of time learning about different parts of the body (on the inside and on the outside). One of the things we learn is that blood and guts don’t need to be disgusting if we think of them as normal part of our bodies, like skin and teeth and eyeballs. And in fact, blood and guts are really important parts of our bodies that help us stay alive. Our blood carries cells (like tiny space capsules) around our bodies, which help us to breathe, fight infection and heal cuts and wounds. Our blood is red because it is red cells that carry oxygen to and from our lungs and other parts of our bodies. 

Illustration of red blood cells.

Illustration of red blood cells. Image credit: National Cancer Institute.

Screenshot of Operation Ouch on BBC iPlayer.

You can learn more about blood and where it comes from by watching ‘Operation Ouch’ on BBC iPlayer.
Our guts are really important too. They help us process (or digest) our food so that we keep all the good healthy stuff like vitamins and energy, and get rid of all the stuff we don’t need in our poo. Without out guts we wouldn’t be able to eat or get all the energy that we need. So if you think about it, blood and guts are really clever. 
Adam Kay (who used to be a doctor) has written a book called ‘Kay’s anatomy: A complete guide to the human body”, which tells you more about things like blood, guts, genes and germs. You can read more about Kay's anatomy on Book Trust.

Another really important part of learning to become a doctor is to meet lots of people who are sick. This helps us to get used to seeing things like blood and guts, and to learn how to help people feel less scared when they are sick. We make sure we stay calm so that we can concentrate on making them better.