European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
/> Cover Volume 20 - Number 4
Eur J Anat, 20 (4): 287-298 (2016)

The dissection course - a psychological burden or an opportunity to teach core medical competencies: A narrative review of the literature

Anja Boeckers, Tobias M. Boeckers

Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Ulm University, Germany

ABSTRACT Historically, dissecting a human body has been a major component of learning anatomy. During recent decades, constraints on financial and human resources have led to profound and universal reductions in classroom instruction. The emergence of other innovative teaching methods, coupled with the chance to avoid disadvantages such as the risk of infection or unnecessary emotional stress, supported this trend. To counter this last argument in particular, this review describes national and international strategies for helping students cope while learning effectively in the dissection course, with the aim of protecting students from unnecessary emotional stress. Some of the strategies presented impart medical competencies previously part of the “hidden curriculum” but now explicit components of the new National Competency-based Catalogue of Learning Objectives in Medicine, Germany.

Keywords: Medical education, Gross anatomy, Dissection, Mental stress, Emotional stress, Professional competence , Professionalism, Ethics in Anatomy

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