Dissection: A positive experience

McGarvey, M. A. and Farrell, T. and Conroy, R. M. and Kandiah, S. and Monkhouse, W. S. (2001) Dissection: A positive experience. Clinical Anatomy, 14 (3). pp. 227-230. ISSN 08973806 (ISSN)

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First-year medical students were surveyed by questionnaire to assess levels of stress and physical symptoms resulting from their experience of the anatomy room. There was a 100% response rate from the 188 students. Most students (95%) found the prospect of their first visit to the anatomy room exciting. A small number initially experienced physical symptoms, but these had improved significantly 10 weeks later. Most students suffered very little or no stress (80%) on their first visit with only 2% of respondents rating their stress levels as high. Ten weeks later, 87% experienced little or no stress with only 1% stating that they had high stress levels. The anatomy room was rated to be less stressful than workload and assessments. Students reported that the anatomy room provoked thoughts of mortality, and 27% suggested that there should be more preparation before the first visit to the anatomy room. Our findings support previous studies suggesting that American/Canadian students in particular find anatomy stressful. However, the wisdom of interpreting adverse reactions as symptomatic of post-traumatic stress disorder is questioned. This study shows the anatomy room to be a positive learning experience for the students of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :51; Export Date: 23 February 2015; CODEN: CLANE; Correspondence Address: Monkhouse, W.S.; Department of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland; email: wsmonkho@rcsi.ie; References: Abu-Hijleh, M.F., Hamdi, N.A., Moqattash, S.T., Harris, P.F., Heseltine, G.F.D., Attitudes and reactions of Arab medical students to the dissecting room (1997) Clin Anat, 10, pp. 272-278; Druce, M., Johnson, M.H., Human dissection and attitudes of preclinical students to death and bereavement (1994) Clin Anat, 7, pp. 42-49; Evans, E.J., Fitzgibbon, G.H., The dissecting room: Reactions of first year medical students (1992) Clin Anat, 5, pp. 311-320; Finkelstein, P., Mathers, L., Post-traumatic stress among medical students in the anatomy dissection laboratory (1990) Clin Anat, 3, pp. 219-226; De Horne, D.J.L., Tiller, J.W.G., Eizenberg, N., Tashevska, M., Biddle, N., Reactions of first-year medical students to their initial encounter with a cadaver in the dissecting room (1990) Acad Med, 10, pp. 645-646; Marks, S.C., Bertman, S.L., Experiences with learning about death and dying in the undergraduate anatomy curriculum (1980) J Med Educ, 55, pp. 48-52; Marks, S.C., Bertman, S.L., Penney, J.C., Human anatomy: A foundation for education about death and dying in medicine (1997) Clin Anat, 10, pp. 118-122; Monkhouse, W.S., Farrell, T.B., Tomorrow's doctors: Today's mistakes (1999) Clin Anat, 12, pp. 131-134; Penney, J.C., Reactions of medical students to dissection (1985) J Med Educ, 60, pp. 58-60
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cadavers; Death; Education; Stress; anatomy; article; cadaver; dissection; experience; human; medical education; medical student; posttraumatic stress disorder; priority journal; school; Adolescent; Adult; Attitude to Death; Female; Humans; Male; Questionnaires; Stress, Psychological; Students, Medical
Depositing User: Colin Lowry
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2015 09:52
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/2955

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