Methods to learn human anatomy: perceptions of medical students in paraclinical and clinical phases regarding cadaver dissection and other learning methods


  • Maitreyee Mutalik Department of Anatomy, MIMER Medical College, Talegaon, Pune
  • Swati Belsare Department of Anatomy, MIMER Medical College, Talegaon, Pune



Dissection, Learning, Anatomy, Perception, Virtual


Background: Though the medical students learn human anatomy during their first year of curriculum, the application of the anatomy knowledge truly starts when they enter the preclinical and clinical phases. Therefore, it is more important and worth knowing from paraclinical and clinical students that which methods of learning gross anatomy during their first year curriculum were useful to them.

Methods: The present study was based on the feedback through a 16-item questionnaire inquiring into the role of cadaveric dissection and other methods in learning human anatomy from the medical students in paraclinical and clinical phases (2nd year, 3rd year and interns), who have undergone the process of cadaveric dissection as a part of anatomy course in their first year of medical education.

Results: Most of the respondents gave positive feedback about the cadaveric dissection as learning methodology, however around 20% students also gave a feedback about the limitation of this method as time consuming when the course duration is less while around 85% felt the need of less crowded dissection tables for better understanding. About 25% students also said that they understood anatomy better with other methods than dissection. More than 70% students expressed that more importance to living and radiological anatomy was needed in the curriculum to benefit them in the future clinical practice. About one fourth of the students felt that complete replacement of cadaveric dissection by combination of other methods to learn anatomy is possible, especially when the newer technologies can be used to understand the subject.

Conclusions: Perception of knowledge by an individual student is different based on the individual primary mental abilities. Therefore, some individuals may show better learning by particular methods. Hence a blend of different methodologies to teach a subject is helpful for majority of the students. In the teaching of human gross anatomy too, a combination of different methods has been in use. However, in the era of decrease in course duration, high “student:cadaver ratio”, and easy availability of newer technologies, there is a need to review the priorities and preferences of the methods or to find out different ways to use the existing methods to increase their effectiveness.


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How to Cite

Mutalik, M., & Belsare, S. (2017). Methods to learn human anatomy: perceptions of medical students in paraclinical and clinical phases regarding cadaver dissection and other learning methods. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 4(7), 2536–2541.



Original Research Articles