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Background. Dissection has long been viewed as the «gold standard» for imparting anatomical knowledge and impacting students’ professional formation. Aim. This pilot study aims to explore medical students’ views of the most efficient teaching methods to deliver learning outcomes in comparison to that of anatomists. Material and Methods. A total of 44 anatomists from the United States of America and 38 medical students (18 male and 20 female) from different academic terms in St. George’s University, Grenada, completed a matrix survey designed to measure how well 10 different teaching tools employed in anatomy relate to 18 learning outcomes. Participants were asked to allocate a value ranging from 0 to 5 representing how useful they perceived the method in achieving the learning outcome. Results and Discussion. Students perceived anatomical models as the most important tool to teach and learn anatomy, followed by pre-dissected prosections/plastinates and imaging modalities such as radiographs and CT scan. There is a significant difference between student and anatomist perceptions of the educational value of dissection with regard to imparting anatomical knowledge. Although ranked differently, there was no significant difference in the students’ perception of ultrasound vs other imaging modalities whereas; anatomists viewed the two tools significantly different in relation to teaching and anatomy integration. (p-values<0.05). Conclusions. Despite single method being found to fit all needs of the modern medical curriculum, anatomists continue to champion dissection. There is a clear gap between student and anatomist perceptions of the most effective teaching method warranting further exploration of students’ perception and outcome measures.

About the authors

Sara Sulaiman

Northumbria University

Department of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK

James Coey

Northumbria University; St. George’s University

St. George’s International School of Medicine Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program; Department of Anatomy Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK; Grenada, West Indies


Copyright (c) 2018 Sulaiman S., Coey J.

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