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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 90-94

Teaching anatomy and dissection in an era of social distancing and remote learning

Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Bridgetown, Barbados

Correspondence Address:
Md Anwarul Azim Majumder
Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Bridgetown
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AIHB.AIHB_87_20

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Anatomy is one of the fundamental and core basic medical sciences in medical education. It forms the basis for physiology and subsequently pathophysiology to understand the aetiology of diseases, followed by the treatment in medical curricula. The traditional mechanism and gold standard for teaching anatomy in the medical curricula is cadaveric dissection in a small-group teaching environment. This type of teaching also develops compassion and empathy in training medical professionals. The onset of COVID-19 pandemic has limited the ability of faculty and students to function in this educational space as social/physical distancing guidelines, and the halting of cadaveric donation programmes has been implemented as safeguard measures against the transmission of the virus. Anatomists and other teaching staff within the discipline have been limited significantly to the use of technology-enhanced learning (TEL). TEL has been used in teaching environments prior and subsequent to the onset of COVID-19 to supplement cadaveric dissection, especially in medical programmes with limited cadaveric resources. While TEL is not interchangeable with cadaveric dissection, it appears to be a near and potentially medium–long-term solution to remote anatomy teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. A blended hands-on approach with virtual reality three-dimensional experience can also be adopted in anatomy teaching during the neo-normal period.

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