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A broad perspective on anatomy education: celebrating teaching diversity and innovations

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Anatomy education is an ever-evolving field. Innovative anatomy teaching practices are actualised by dedicated, professionally qualified academic staff who often devote their entire careers to the education of future clinicians. While traditional approaches to anatomy education focused on surgical training and knowledge-based competency,1 modern anatomy literacy must be applied to a wide variety of clinical disciplines. Thus current teaching approaches need to reflect this. To this end, modern topographic anatomy is combined with other anatomical sciences (ie, embryology, histology and neuroscience), and taught within integrated medical curricula in the context of clinical medicine, clinical skills, pathology and radiology. As with other pre-clinical and para-clinical fields (including biochemistry, physiology and immunology), there are clear benefits in engaging teaching staff with a variety of qualifications and expertise to maximise the effectiveness of the vertical and horizontal knowledge integration that is essential in modern medical curricula.

The highest quality of medical anatomy education is more likely to emerge from a diverse group of motivated and dedicated academic professional anatomy educators in combination with clinically based staff than from those knowledgeable only in a single discipline as has recently been proposed.1,2