Med schools cut mandatory dissections

April 29, 2014

Canadian medical schools are debating whether all medical students should be required to perform complete dissections of human cadavers before becoming MDs. The issue is students’ time: the use of pre-cut bodies and imaging technology is a faster way of teaching basic anatomy, but some critics argue that eliminating mandatory dissections limits students’ experiences and expertise. At the University of Saskatchewan, the issue became a point of debate as the medical school looks to revise its programming. The school will phase dissections out of its core undergraduate curriculum, instead offering them as clerkships or electives. The move is expected to cut the number of hours devoted to gross anatomy at uSask from 92 to 22. About half of Canada’s medical schools use pre-cut body parts or imaging technologies to teach basic anatomy to students who are not training to be surgeons or hands-on specialists. Complete dissections are still mandatory at medical schools at the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University, as well as most US medical schools. The Globe and Mail