A minimally invasive approach to undergraduate anatomy teaching



Anatomy is one of the cornerstones of medical education. Unfortunately, sufficient evidence has accumulated to suggest a worldwide decline in the resources and time allocated to its teaching. Integration of anatomy with clinical medicine has been frequently advocated as the solution to this academic crisis. Consequently, new ways of harnessing clinical relevance to the teaching of anatomy must be sought to make it applicable to contemporary clinical practice. Human cadavers have been used to teach laparoscopic skills to surgical trainees for some time. More recently, centers in the United States have piloted the use of minimally invasive techniques in the teaching of anatomy to undergraduates. We believe that the use of laparoscopy on human cadavers may also be used to complement the teaching of anatomy to United Kingdom and European medical students. This would not only familiarize students with the topography and morphology of human anatomy, but also with the concept of manipulating anatomical structures to achieve a clinical outcome. Other benefits include improved three-dimensional orientation, increased dexterity, and development team-working skills amongst students. A UK feasibility study is currently underway. Anat Sci Ed 1:46–47, 2008. © 2007 American Association of Anatomists.