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Is dissection a must for better knowledge among future doctors?

Irn J Med Hypotheses and Ideas 01/2011; 5:9.
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    ABSTRACT: Anatomy in undergraduate education has been in decline for many years. Some suggest that it has fallen below a safe level. Balances between detail and safety, and assimilation and application of anatomy have yet to be established as the methods of teaching undergo another metamorphosis. For doctors, the human body is the focus of investigation and intervention on a daily basis; for this reason, the study of anatomy in some form will continue to be essential to safe medical practice. It is necessary for core knowledge of anatomy to be assimilated by all doctors in order to practice and communicate safely. It may be true that most doctors do not need to dissect a cadaver or study a prosection in order to practice, but if it can improve their understanding of what they do and why they do it, this surely has to be of benefit both for the safety of the patient and satisfaction of the doctor as a professional. Integration of newer teaching modalities and modern technology will encourage interest and retention of anatomical knowledge and its clinical relevance. Anatomy has a promising future in postgraduate specialist and surgical training. Detailed knowledge should be integrated into specialist training when it is clinically relevant allowing specialists of the future to practice safely and accurately and also to provide a strong base for future clinical developments.
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    ABSTRACT: Anatomy has historically been a cornerstone in medical education regardless of nation or specialty. Until recently, dissection and didactic lectures were its sole pedagogy. Teaching methodology has been revolutionized with more reliance on models, imaging, simulation, and the Internet to further consolidate and enhance the learning experience. Moreover, modern medical curricula are giving less importance to anatomy education and to the acknowledged value of dissection. Universities have even abandoned dissection completely in favor of user-friendly multimedia, alternative teaching approaches, and newly defined priorities in clinical practice. Anatomy curriculum is undergoing international reformation but the current framework lacks uniformity among institutions. Optimal learning content can be categorized into the following modalities: (1) dissection/prosection, (2) interactive multimedia, (3) procedural anatomy, (4) surface and clinical anatomy, and (5) imaging. The importance of multimodal teaching, with examples suggested in this article, has been widely recognized and assessed. Nevertheless, there are still ongoing limitations in anatomy teaching. Substantial problems consist of diminished allotted dissection time and the number of qualified anatomy instructors, which will eventually deteriorate the quality of education. Alternative resources and strategies are discussed in an attempt to tackle these genuine concerns. The challenges are to reinstate more effective teaching and learning tools while maintaining the beneficial values of orthodox dissection. The UK has a reputable medical education but its quality could be improved by observing international frameworks. The heavy penalty of not concentrating on sufficient anatomy education will inevitably lead to incompetent anatomists and healthcare professionals, leaving patients to face dire repercussions.
    Anatomical Sciences Education 03/2010; 3(2):83-93.

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