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Maintaining cadaveric dissection in the COVID era: New perspectives in anatomy teaching and medical education

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Chilvers, N 
Lloyd, RGC 
Fletcher, P 
Fay, IHH 


Cadaveric dissection provides a unique learning experience in anatomy teaching that maps well to the required outcomes for medical graduates as prescribed by the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to the maintenance of this method of teaching which is very much dependent on in-person participation. As a result, dissection ceased in many institutions, with anatomy teaching being conducted online. The conviction that hands-on cadaveric dissection offers considerable benefits beyond the imparting of anatomical knowledge has led to the development of strategies to retain the practical element at the core of anatomy teaching. This paper describes the ways in which this has been achieved in the current academic year within a COVID-secure environment. A blended learning curriculum has provided students with both the opportunity for online interaction as well as in-person dissection classes which have become the highlight of the course for students. This paper describes in detail why cadaveric dissection remains key in anatomical education and demonstrates this by mapping its additional benefits to each of the three sets of GMC Outcomes for Graduates (professional values and behaviors, professional skills and professional knowledge). The means by which these were previously achieved as well as how these goals are still being met in our current program during the pandemic are detailed.



Cadaveric dissection, Covid-19, Coronavirus, Anatomy teaching, Medical education, Blended learning

Journal Title

European Journal of Anatomy

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Sociedad Anatomica Espanola

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