Dissection as a teaching tool: Past, present, and future


  • Rodrigo E. Elizondo-Omaña,

    Corresponding author
    • Ave. Francisco I. Madero y Dr. Aguirre Pequeño. Col. Mitras Centro, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
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    • Dr. Elizondo-Omaña is the coordinator of scholarship recipients for the Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Mexico.

    • Fax: (81) 83477790

  • Santos Guzmán-López,

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    • Dr. Guzmán-López is the head of the Department of Human Anatomy at the same university.

  • María De Los Angeles García-Rodríguez

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    • Ms. García-Rodríguez is a scholarship recipient of the department.


Cultural changes, scientific progress, and new trends in medical education have modified the role of dissection in teaching anatomy in today's medical schools. We discuss in this article the role of dissection itself, the value of which has been under debate for the last 30 years. The importance of dissection is considered from different points of view: educational, bioethical, and human values. Included are different opinions from professors and students. Finally, the current practice of dissection is described for some universities in the United States and Europe, showing its use as a learning tool. Anat Rec (Part B: New Anat) 285B:11–15, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.