European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 9 - Number 2
Eur J Anat, 9 (2): 111-115 (2005)

Reflections and challenges in the teaching of human anatomy at the beginning of the 21st century

Vazquez R., Riesco J.M., Carretero J.

Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain; Departamento de Anatomía e Histología Humanas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Salamanca, Avda. Alfonso X el Sabio, s/n, E-37007 Salamanca, Spain

ABSTRACT The last years of the twentieth century and the first years of the third millennium have been a critical time in the teaching of Gross Anatomy. In the present work the authors report and analyse the reasons why Gross Anatomy lost importance as a major subject in medical teaching in the last century, basing their arguments on the data found in the literature. Among these causes, we analyse the following: the stagnation affecting the teaching of Gross Anatomy; the decline in anatomical dissection; the delayed introduction of other teaching methods; the formulation of aims and contents; the amalgam of professionals from different fields forming Departments of Anatomy, and the identity crisis experienced by anatomists. We also address the efforts of professionals to bring about changes in the teaching of anatomy through (among others) the use of new technologies; application of technological advances in the field of medical education; increased time spent on dissection; the compilation of a common medical terminology, and the development of greater "dynamism" in Anatomical Societies and Federations. Finally, the authors offer some general considerations aimed at defending and improving the teaching of Anatomy in medical curricula and the dissemination of Anatomy and anatomical research, and give a brief outline of their own experience at the University of Salamanca (Spain).

Keywords: adaptation, anatomy, cadaver, curriculum, dissection, experience, medical education, monitoring, research, review, Spain, teaching

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)