“The cadaver conundrum”

A/Prof Quentin Fogg speaks to The Australian on disruptions to anatomical training and what it means for students.

For the past year, with labs closed and face to face teaching having moved online, anatomy students have missed out on crucial practical experience.

“Handling cadavers is something you constantly need to revisit and relearn, no matter if you’re a first-year anatomy student or someone who’s had professional experience as a doctor for more than four years after medical school,” Associate Professor Quentin Fogg (Department of Anatomy & Physiology) told The Australian.

Image:  Aaron Francis [The Australian]

While educators have had to look to new technologies for teaching online, this critical part of surgical training leaves a gap which may have impacts into the future.

Last year, Australia’s top anatomy professor published a research report which looked at the disruptions to surgical training as a result of the pandemic.

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Associate Professor Fogg was also interviewed by Dee Dee Dunleavy for Radio 3AW's Afternoons program to discuss the issue and impacts of students having restricted access to cadavers for training.

"The use of body donors is essential in anatomy education. It's not just for learning anatomy but the hidden curriculum as well...the mechanical nature, the three dimensional aspect, looking at a person and feeling how the structures are put together, the true anatomy lab experience, handling instruments. And even the  subconscious component, thinking about what it means to be a person - dealing with death and all the challenges a young medical student  doesn't have an opportunity to face prior to that," says Quentin.

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