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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2019-03-19
Submitted: 2018-08-23
Accepted: 2018-08-31
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Perceptions of South African Academic Instructors Toward the Teaching and Learning of Anatomy

Lelika Lazarus, Reshma Sookrajh, Kapil Sewsaran Satyapal
DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2019.0034
·
Pubmed: 30906975

open access

Ahead of Print
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2019-03-19
Submitted: 2018-08-23
Accepted: 2018-08-31

Abstract

Reflecting on teaching is commonly cited as a fundamental practice for personal and professional development.  Educational research into the scholarship of teaching and learning anatomy includes engaging in discipline specific literature on teaching, reflecting on individual teaching methods and communicating these findings to peers. The aim of this paper was to formally assess the opinions of senior anatomy instructors regarding the state of anatomical knowledge at their respective institutions.

An open ended questionnaire was devised consisting of eight direct questions seeking opinions on anatomy teaching, knowledge, potential educational developments and general thoughts on the teaching of anatomy to medical students. These were distributed to senior anatomy Faculty (identified by the author by their affiliation with the Anatomical Society of Southern Africa) based at the eight national medical schools within the country. 

A number of key themes emerged. Most senior faculty felt that the standard of medical education at their respective institutions was “good.” However, emphasis was also placed on the “quality of teaching” incorporating clinical scenarios. There were also indications that staff are split into those that are keen to do research and those that are happy to provide teaching to medical students as their primary function. Several challenges such as time constraints within the curricula, lack of cadavers to reinforce knowledge and lack of appropriately qualified staff were highlighted. Recommendations included fostering partnerships with both clinicians and medical scientists into the anatomy curriculum thus improving teaching and research.

Abstract

Reflecting on teaching is commonly cited as a fundamental practice for personal and professional development.  Educational research into the scholarship of teaching and learning anatomy includes engaging in discipline specific literature on teaching, reflecting on individual teaching methods and communicating these findings to peers. The aim of this paper was to formally assess the opinions of senior anatomy instructors regarding the state of anatomical knowledge at their respective institutions.

An open ended questionnaire was devised consisting of eight direct questions seeking opinions on anatomy teaching, knowledge, potential educational developments and general thoughts on the teaching of anatomy to medical students. These were distributed to senior anatomy Faculty (identified by the author by their affiliation with the Anatomical Society of Southern Africa) based at the eight national medical schools within the country. 

A number of key themes emerged. Most senior faculty felt that the standard of medical education at their respective institutions was “good.” However, emphasis was also placed on the “quality of teaching” incorporating clinical scenarios. There were also indications that staff are split into those that are keen to do research and those that are happy to provide teaching to medical students as their primary function. Several challenges such as time constraints within the curricula, lack of cadavers to reinforce knowledge and lack of appropriately qualified staff were highlighted. Recommendations included fostering partnerships with both clinicians and medical scientists into the anatomy curriculum thus improving teaching and research.

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Keywords

anatomy, teaching, perceptions, reflection, challenges, curriculum, qualifications

About this article
Title

Perceptions of South African Academic Instructors Toward the Teaching and Learning of Anatomy

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Ahead of Print

Published online

2019-03-19

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2019.0034

Pubmed

30906975

Keywords

anatomy
teaching
perceptions
reflection
challenges
curriculum
qualifications

Authors

Lelika Lazarus
Reshma Sookrajh
Kapil Sewsaran Satyapal

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