Introducing Gross Pathology to Undergraduate Medical Students in the Dissecting Room

Andrew Wood, Kate Struthers, Susan Whiten, David Jackson, C. Simon Herrington

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    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Pathology and anatomy are both sciences that contribute to the foundations of a successful medical career. In the past decade, medical education has undergone profound changes with the development of a core curriculum combined with student selected components. There has been a shift from discipline-based teaching towards problem-based learning. Both anatomy and pathology are perceived to have suffered from this educational shift. The challenge is to introduce methods of learning for these subjects into an integrated student-centered curriculum. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of pathology in 12 donor cadavers in the dissecting room of the Bute Medical School, University of St Andrews. All of the cadavers had multiple pathologies (between three to four conditions) ranging from common to rare disorders. A number of prostheses and surgical interventions were also noted. This small study confirms that cadaveric dissection provides an excellent opportunity for the integration of anatomy, pathology, and clinical medicine into the early clinical training of undergraduate medical students. The identification of disease in a cadaver provides an excellent introduction to the gross features of a disease process, but does not substitute for the detailed study of a process later in the curriculum. Anat Sci Educ 3: 97-100, 2010. (C) 2010 American Association of Anatomists.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-100
    Number of pages4
    JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • pathology education
    • gross anatomy
    • anatomy education
    • medical education
    • dissection


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