Wright SJ. Student perceptions of an upper-level, undergraduate human anatomy laboratory course without cadavers. Anat Sci Educ.2012 May-Jun;5(3):146-57.Epub 2012 Feb 23.

PMID: 22362500


Several programs in health professional education require or are considering requiring upper-level human anatomy as prerequisite for their applicants. Undergraduate students are confronted with few institutions offering such a course, in part because of the expense and logistical issues associated with a cadaver-based human anatomy course. This study describes the development of and student reactions to an upper-level human anatomy laboratory course for undergraduate students that used a regional approach and contemporary, alternative teaching methods to a cadaver-based course. The alternative pedagogy to deliver the curriculum included use of commercially available, three-dimensional anatomical virtual dissection software, anatomical models coupled with a learning management system to offer Web-based learning, and a new laboratory manual with collaborative exercises designed to develop the student's anatomical skills and collaborative team skills. A Likert-scale survey with open-ended questions was used to ascertain student perceptions of the course and its various aspects. Students perceived that the noncadaver-based, upper-level human anatomy course with an engaging, regional approach is highly valuable in their learning of anatomy.