Anatomy in Scotland: 20 years of change

F. R. Pryde, S. M. Black

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)


    Background & Aims: To document changes in the educational infrastructure of anatomy in Scotland over the past 20 years. To investigate the possible impact of the GMC 1993 recommendations and assess the preparedness of Scottish anatomy to meet the implications of the proposed amendment to the 1984 Anatomy Act. Results: Over the past 20 years in Scotland, the total number of teaching staff in anatomy (full time, part time and honorary) has decreased by over 24%, full time teaching staff numbers have decreased by more than 33% and the number of clinical demonstrators by more than 70%. However, medical student intake has risen by 38% and the overall student number experiencing anatomical teaching (medicine, science and dentistry) has more than doubled, resulting in a current average staff:student ratio of 1:58. Anatomy contact hours between staff and medical students have decreased by just over 60% in the last 20 years. Conclusions: In the last 20 years, contact hours and staffing levels have decreased substantially in Scotland whilst student numbers (medical, science and dental) have increased significantly. On average the anatomical input to the medical curriculum decreased by 28% between 1983 and 1993 but post the GMC initiative, there was a further decrease of 45% resulting in current medical students in Scotland experiencing a 60% reduction in contact anatomy time compared to their peers in the early 1980’s. The decline in anatomical infrastructure is not a reassuring indicator of its ability to meet substantial future demands.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)96-98
    JournalScottish Medical Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • Anatomy
    • Scotland
    • Medical curriculum
    • Anatomy Act
    • GMC


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