ABSTRACT: Anatomy in medical education: Perceptions of undergraduate medical students
The best method to teach anatomy is widely debated. A shift away from cadaveric dissection in UK medical schools towards newer approaches has taken place without adequate evaluation of their suitability. The impact of this on future anatomical and surgical competencies is unclear. We assessed student perceptions to different methods of anatomy teaching.
All 2nd year students at Leeds School of Medicine were invited to complete a matrix-grid questionnaire. Participants were asked to score six methods of anatomy teaching (dissection; prosection; lectures; models; PC software packages; living & radiological anatomy) using a 5-point Likert-type scale on the ability to achieve nine learning objectives. Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney analyses suitable for non-parametric data were used to evaluate differences in scores between teaching methods.
170 students (71%) responded to the survey. Overall, dissection was the single highest scored method, followed by prosection. Newer approaches such as models, computer software packages and living & radiological anatomy scored comparatively worse. The most suitable method for achieving individual learning objectives was variable with dissection perceived as most suitable for four out of nine objectives.
Cadaveric dissection is a favourable approach for achieving important learning objectives in the field of anatomy. Further evaluation of teaching methods is required prior to changes being made in the curricula of UK medical schools.