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Open Access Research in Anatomy

The New Norm of Anatomy Education to Medical Students amidst COVID-19

  • Open or CloseYanny WYW1 and Florence MKT2*

    1Medicine Programme, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

    2Division of Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

    *Corresponding author: Florence Mei Kuen Tang, Division of Education, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Submission: May 16, 2022; Published: May 24, 2022

DOI: 10.31031/OARA.2022.02.000548

ISSN: 2577-1922
Volume2 Issue4


Background: Anatomy is the core knowledge of the preclinical curriculum for the training of medical professionals. The school provides didactic pedagogy, including lectures, cadaveric dissections and plastinated specimen examinations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many face-to-face teaching activities have been suspended in sudden, commencing early in 2020. It is a new normal response by substituting the synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning formats to comply with the social distancing measures. There has been a pressing need to review eLearning tools’ potential in anatomy education. This study investigates the sudden shift in anatomy learning methods both physical and remote contact during such a new norm situation among medical students to evaluate and understand how technology could facilitate anatomy education along with traditional practices. Methodology and results: The school held a 2-day dissection workshop to accommodate eighty medical year 2 students. At the same time, the positive cases of COVID-19 infection were dropped to the single-digit at the end of June 2020. An anonymous e-survey has been distributed to participants using e-learning tools for anatomy learning and doing the dissection. The 5-Likert scale was adopted in the questionnaire. Concerning the workshop, there have been positive responses regarding whether medical students think dissection facilitates their understanding of Anatomy, as 74.2% of participants “Strongly agreed” and 25.8% “Agreed” with the statement. Regarding how the medical students learn Anatomy without Dissections during the second term, 90.3% reported that they had used “textbook”. In comparison, 80.6% said that they have utilized “the eLearning set up by the teachers”. “eLearning from the library” comprises 16.2% and those who studied with “lecture notes only” account for 45.2%. On the other hand, 80.6% reported using “the source from the senior peers” to aid their anatomy learning, and 6.5% indicated “others”. Discussion and conclusion: The new norm changes the pedagogical pattern of anatomy education of medical training in Hong Kong. In the study, the dominant agreed that dissection lessons provide an indispensable platform for equipping students with medical knowledge and humanistic values to become compassionate medical practitioners. Research data has also shown that the shift changes to a studentcentred approach. Besides reading textbooks, educators customised eLearning in anatomy education to facilitate and enhance students’ learning engagement. Benefits of eLearning include flexibility in study schedules and collaborative learning to achieve better educational outcomes and professional development. In addition, multimedia applications employed in online anatomy education would deliver standardised training and provide students with interactive and convenient learning platforms, regardless of their location and time arrangements. To conclude, cadaveric dissection remains a centerpiece in medical education and eLearning serves as a complement to the regular classes for fulfilling the learning objectives when the COVID-19 pandemic relief.

Keywords: COVID-19; New norm; Remote teaching, Anatomy teaching, Dissection, eLearning

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