Anatomy teaching: the cruellest cut – a progress report
Ann R Coll Surg Engl (Suppl) 2001: 93:16-18
Undergraduate Anatomy Teaching: are we failing a generation of future surgeons?
Ann R Coll Surg Engl (Suppl) 2011: 93:26-28
In response to the ‘surgical anatomy’ issue of January 2011 I would like to congratulate the contributors on the scope of articles on this contentious subject. That anatomy under-pins the foundation of surgery is irrefutable as is the observation that deficiencies therein severely compromise patient safety.
Professor Standring’s report provided a helpful update and I would like to take this opportunity to clarify certain issues. The implementation of MMC has made anatomy demonstrating less available to surgical trainees by removing the well-trodden route of A&E / demonstrating whilst preparing for Membership examinations. However, it should be noted that the London Deanery (which was represented at the discussion) places all CT2 core surgical trainees in demonstrating posts throughout London medical schools. This experience follows on from an anatomy teaching programme based at the College throughout CT1 which is invaluable revision for the teaching year ahead.
The woeful scores achieved by Foundation doctors on the anatomy questionnaire was of particular concern given that many reported that they consequently felt ill-equipped to manage in their FY1 jobs. The proposal of integrating clinical anatomy into Final examinations is certainly worth considering. Against this idea is the thought that many final year medical students feels swamped by the task of covering the current syllabus and further material would be undesirable to say the least. However, if this was properly integrated into an aspect of an OSCE station, for instance, then appropriate clinically-based anatomical knowledge could be assessed.
Finally, I would just like to further make the readers aware of the British Association of Clinical Anatomists and their excellent winter meeting held recently at St George’s Hospital. This meeting saw presentations from domestic and international undergraduates and postgraduates alike. The quality was high and should go some way to restoring the faith of others in the interest and ability of trainees in this crucial discipline.