European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 15 - Number 1
Eur J Anat, 15 (1): 29-46 (2011)

The future of clinical anatomy

Bernard J. Moxham1, Hannah Shaw1, Richard Crowson1 and Odile Plaisant2

1Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AX, United Kingdom, 2Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine, URDIA, EA4465, 45 Rue Saints Pères, 75006 Paris, France

ABSTRACT Attitudes of medical students to the teaching of anatomy in a clinical context and their knowledge of clinical medicine when first entering their medical courses were assessed in a cohort of students at Paris (n=280) and two cohorts at Cardiff (n = 300) using questionnaires that included Thurstone and Chaveattitude analyses. The findings indicate that,in their early years of training, medical students prefer anatomy to be made explicitly relevant to clinical needs, although there was no strong belief that the teachers should be clinically qualified. Furthermore, while the students appreciated the value of using clinical examples/scenarios or case histories in the teaching, their use in assessments drew ambivalent responses. The results of the surveys also showed that, in terms of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory medicine, many students come with a significant knowledge of medicine before they commence their education and training at medical school. This finding suggests that educational benefit can be obtained by encouraging medical students to impart their existing knowledge and by them recounting the “narratives” whereby their knowledge of medicine was obtained. The results highlight the perceived importance of anatomy, both as a scientific and a clinical discipline, and relates to issues concerned with the understanding of the culture of medicine in terms of understanding health and disease.

Keywords: Anatomy, Anatomy teaching and learning, Clinical anatomy, Clinical relevance, Attitudes, Medical students, Medical education

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