Anatomy Education for Medical Students in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland in 2019: A twenty year follow up: A 20-year follow-up

Claire F Smith, Samuel K Freeman, David Heylings, Gabrielle M Finn, D Ceri Davies

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Abstract

Anatomical education in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland has long been under scrutiny, especially since the reforms triggered in 1993 by the General Medical Council's “Tomorrow's Doctors.” The aim of the current study was to investigate the state of medical student anatomy education in the UK and Ireland in 2019. In all, 39 medical schools completed the survey (100% response rate) and trained 10,093 medical students per year cohort. The teachers comprised 760 individuals, of these 143 were employed on full-time teaching contracts and 103 were employed on education and research contracts. Since a previous survey in 1999, the number of part-time staff has increased by 300%, including a significant increase in the number of anatomy demonstrators. In 2019, anatomy was predominantly taught to medical students in either a system-based or hybrid curriculum. In all, 34 medical schools (87%) used human cadavers to teach anatomy, with a total of 1363 donors being used per annum. Gross anatomy teaching was integrated with medical imaging in 95% of medical schools, embryology in 81%, living anatomy in 78%, neuroanatomy in 73%, and histology in 68.3%. Throughout their five years of study, medical students are allocated on average 85 h of taught time for gross anatomy, 24 h for neuroanatomy, 24 h for histology, 11 h for living anatomy, and 10 for embryology. In the past 20 years, there has been an average loss of 39 h dedicated to gross anatomy teaching and a reduction in time dedicated to all other anatomy sub-disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1006
Number of pages14
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Volume15
Issue number6
Early online date27 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • anatomy curricula
  • anatomy teaching
  • body donations
  • dissection
  • gross anatomy education
  • medical education
  • medical students

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