Anatomy in a modern medical curriculum


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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