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Learning anatomy on cadavers: for

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 01 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:0109346
  1. Samena Chaudhry, fifth year medical student1
  1. 1University of Birmingham

Many medical schools no longer use traditional dissection to teach their students anatomy. Three dimensional models and computer simulations are replacing cadavers. Does this mean that medical students miss out? Samena Chaudhry and Shahid Mohammed argue for and against the method that they themselves have not experienced

Writing in favour of a practice that I have never experienced may sound a little hypocritical, but there are two sides to every argument. It is always worth considering an alternative way of learning. The important question being is, “Might we have learnt more another way?”

My experience of anatomy included handling waxy plastic limbs and clever looking 3D models that you could take apart like a jigsaw puzzle. We watched the formation of inguinal canals using paper origami and worked through chapters of worksheets with the help of anatomy demonstrators. For those interested, a visit to see pro sections could also be arranged. …

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