The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a worldwide disruption of face-to-face teaching including practical anatomy teaching. The design and delivery of practical classes must be adapted to minimise the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Prosection-based anatomy classes are a particular challenge as they usually involve movement of students between stations and a high level of person-to-person contact among students as well as between students and staff. Our poster introduces a new approach to prosection-based teaching that we have applied successfully at the University of Aberdeen. This new approach was trialled with undergraduate Biomedical Sciences students studying a second-year introductory anatomy course. Students prepared for the lab classes by working through online resources (e.g., a digital workbook, recorded lectures and 3D photogrammetry models of specimens) and by attending live online sessions. During the lab classes, students visited stations with pinned specimens and plastic models. iPads were set up at two stations so that ‘remote demonstrators’ could guide and assist student learning. For the remaining stations, support was provided by a teacher who was present in the room. The arrangement of stations, a one-way system and timer, combined with personal protective equipment and a strict cleaning regime created a safe environment for students and staff. Feedback from students and staff has been very positive. Based on the positive response to this trial we intend to roll out our approach to other courses. We are grateful to the individuals who facilitated our work by their generous body donations. This trial was approved by the Licensed Teachers of Anatomy at the University of Aberdeen.


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Gröning, F., Allardyce, H., Hanna, K., Tracey, C. & Vilcina, V. 2021, 'Prosection-based human anatomy teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic', Journal of Anatomy, 239(4), article no: P4. https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.13460

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Last updated: 14 March 2024
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