Ajani RS and Oladapo O. Attitudes and perception of medical and dental preclinical undergraduates in a Nigerian medical school towards cadaveric dissection. Afr J Med Med Sci. 2011 Jun;40(2):139-46

PMID: 22195382


Human anatomy is a foundation course in medicine and dentistry with one of its components being gross, of which cadaveric dissection (CD) is an important part. Recently there has been a wide spread debate as to the relevance or otherwise of CD in the learning of anatomy by the students. A feedback from the beneficiaries, i.e., medical and dental students in terms of perception and evaluation is necessary for informed decision to be made oncurriculum review. The objective of this study was to asses medical and dental students' attitude and perception of CD. In achieving this, a structured questionnaire, containing 29 stems was administered to 152 medical and dental students, who were about completing the preclinical phase of the medical and dental programmes respectively. The response rate was 77.6% and the responses were analyzed using absolute numbers, percentages and frequencies. Between 76.3-96.4% were involved in actual dissection of at least one of the regions of the body. About 90.1% had twice to thrice weekly attendance at the dissections. About 96.4% were of the opinion that CD is essential to learning anatomy; while 55.6% found it interesting and 80.1% believed that it has significant contribution to future professional carrier. Results from this study show that the students appreciate the relevance of CD to learning anatomy and in view of limitations of viable alternatives, CD still has a prominent place in the teaching of gross anatomy. 

Author's contacts: rsaajani@yahoo.co.uk