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Anatomy Education: Current State and Perspectives M iloš Grim. Czech Anatomical Society & Institute of Anatomy Charles University in Prague , First Faculty of Medicine. Background.

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Anatomy Education:

Current State and Perspectives

Miloš Grim

Czech Anatomical Society &

Institute of Anatomy

Charles University in Prague, First Faculty of Medicine



To conduct modern research while maintaining a reasonable teaching load is today´s the task for all departments of anatomy and histology.

Over the past two decades, the gross and microscopic anatomy has undergone significant changes. Some of them are specific; others reflect the evolution of the basic biomedical sciences. One of the most important trends is the homogenization of basic biomedical research, with scientists in many fields using very similar or identical approaches.


The composition of many anatomy departments differs from that of a generation ago.

In the past, a person who taught gross anatomy was likely to do research in gross anatomy, whereas today gross anatomy teachers have toconduct research in molecular biology. Otherwise they are not competitive in the granting system. As a result, some teachers in unfunded laboratories have become pure teachers.


Many of the new members of the department have been trained in other disciplines rather than in anatomy.

The consequence is that they have first to learn what they have later to teach.

The gap between the area of teaching and the field of research is characteristic for gross anatomy.This trend is accompanied by an increasing disparity between what anatomy educators teach and what they do in their research.


Looking in the future we have to ask how many of our recent anatomy and histology departments can surviveas separate departments.

In many countries traditional basic medical science departments are disbanded or combined with other departments.

In the case of gross anatomy, some departments have been split and gross anatomy teaching has been incorporated into surgery departments and the rest of the department has been reconstituted as a cell biology department.


Current state of anatomy education

in the Czech Republic

Pre-graduate students: teachers relation


No. of DrSc.& Ph.D. &CSc.

in relation to No. of Ph.D. students


Summary of our current state

The number of our pre-graduate students is growing rapidly.

The number of full-time teaching faculty in our departments has dropped dramatically, and only a minority of our professors and associate professors is below the age of 65.

At the same time, the number of Ph.D. students in our departments is too low.



To be more attractive for prospective new departmental members we have to perform cutting-edge science.

It should be oriented on clinically relevant topics carried out in collaboration with clinicians as well as on basic research that uses modern methods of molecular biology and genetics.


The traditional curricular model used in the majority of medical schools in our country

is lecture-based and


The usefulness of this approach declines as

scientific knowledge

is expanding rapidly.

Medical education is now

in a phase of curricular reform with great emphasis

on self-learning and

problem-oriented approaches.


Current effective curricular models of educationin basic sciences

☺Integration of basic sciences according to organ

systems across the traditional disciplines.

☺Reduction of the large lecture forms.

☺Introduction of interactive courses.

☺The use of computer based learning in greater extent.

☺Integration of clinical aspects into basic sciences.

☺Elimination of excessive details with little clinical


☺Dissection must remain as the core foundation

in the teaching and learning of gross anatomy.

The realization of these changes in our curricula is thedominant theme in anatomy education today