Practical pregraduate teaching in Human Anatomy: A review

Publication Name

European Journal of Anatomy


There is a general agreement in all fields of sciences that practical pre-graduate education in human anatomy is absolutely necessary. It constitutes an inseparable partner with theoretical learning on the path to knowledge. As such is it critical to (1) establish the set of specific objectives for each practical session (PS), and (2) define more precisely the outcomes (i.e., knowledge, skills and attitudes) that are expected by students. The principle for efficiency of practical sessions (PSs) is that they should take place immediately after didactic sessions of the corresponding topic(s). In this way, students could best reinforce their learning. Considering that the morphology of the human body can be learned by means other than direct observation/dissection of anatomical donors, media, models and imaging have also gained popularity as "anatomy learning tools" in recent years. Imaging is a perfect complement for teaching in the dissecting room, but always in correlation with the reality of bodydonor sections, prosections and dissections of the same region. Anatomical models and computer programs express the reality of the human body, however, anatomical variations and many other qualities (i.e., surgical skills, ethics, pathology, professionalism) can only be appreciated via hands-on use of an anatomical donor to science. Therefore, the anatomical donor remains the Gold Standard for anatomy teaching, especially topographical Anatomy.

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