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A Student Perspective on the Relevance of Cadaveric Dissection in Medical Education
FASEB Journal (2006)
  • David Cavanaugh, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Historically, Gross Anatomy has been a major course in the curriculum of first year medical students. Traditionally, cadaveric dissection has been fundamentally included as part of the Gross Anatomy educational experience. To keep pace with the evolving medical mileau, transitions (e.g. modulation and integration) occur in the medical school curriculum that sometime require a reduction in contact hours by medical students for cadaveric dissection. To determine the opinion of medical students on the relevance of cadaveric dissection to their future medical careers, we polled the first year (preclinical) and fourth year (clinical) medical student classes at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Of the fourth year respondents, 95% reported that Gross Anatomy prepared them for their boards and clinical rotations. First (n=113) and fourth (n=101) year respondents reported that cadaveric dissection : was a valuable asset to their medical education (95.4%; 97% respectively); was not worthless (96.4%; 99%, respectively); was an important asset of the Gross Anatomy course (96.3%; 100%, respectively); and should be required for all medical students, regardless of their desired specialty (98.2%; 100%, respectively). These data infer that medical students recognize Gross Anatomy as a relevant part of their medical training and identify cadaveric dissection as an invaluable learning resource. The data also suggest that students who have taken the national medical boards and are in clinical rotations discern the value of cadaveric dissection on their future in medicine to a greater degree than first year students who have just completed Gross Anatomy.
Publication Date
March, 2006
Publisher Statement
The published version is available at Copyright © 2006 FASEB
Citation Information
David Cavanaugh. "A Student Perspective on the Relevance of Cadaveric Dissection in Medical Education" FASEB Journal Vol. 20 Iss. LB5 (2006)
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