Anatomy education faces challenges in Pakistan

Authors

  • Ismail K. Memon

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
    • Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Anatomy BBS, Aga Khan University, Stadium Road, Karachi 74800, Pakistan
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Abstract

Anatomy education in Pakistan is facing many of the same challenges as in other parts of the world. Roughly, a decade ago, all medical and dental colleges in Pakistan emphasized anatomy as a core basic discipline within a traditional medical science curriculum. Now institutions are adopting problem based learning (PBL) teaching philosophies, and since medical colleges in Pakistan first introduced PBL curricula that expose the basic sciences primarily in clinical contexts, the methods and extent of anatomy teaching have been topics of much debate. Many claim that PBL curricula dilute basic science education, especially anatomy. At the same time, classically trained faculty members with PhD in anatomy have become nearly extinct in Pakistan, with only four working in country. A third challenge currently facing anatomy education in Pakistan, as in many parts of the world, is an unavailability of cadavers for dissection. As more institutions adopt PBL curricula, as PhD anatomists are harder to find, and as cadavers for dissection become scarce, Pakistan and other countries around the world will have to seriously consider how they will sustain adequate anatomy education. Anat Sci Educ 2:193–194, 2009. © 2009 American Association of Anatomists.

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