Introduction: Anatomy is the cornerstone of medical education and has been recognized as an essential constituent for facilitating clinicians’ functionality in day-to-day practise. [1] In recent decades, the subject has received considerable interest from academics following the curtailment of traditional teaching methodologies, and the pertinence of anatomy’s inherently multi-faceted nature to the development of modern teaching modalities. The COVID19 pandemic necessitated anatomy educators across the world to emergently shift entire curricula into a remote format. This inadvertently created a unique opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of online and blended learning methodology. As such, an assortment of literature was published documenting experiences and outcomes observed in anatomical education during the pandemic. However, there is a shortfall of efficacy studies amalgamating this research. The current study aimed to ascertain how anatomy education was implemented during the pandemic, outline strengths and weaknesses of the adjusted curriculum, and how our experiences should inform future pedagogical practise.

Methods: This systematic review was conducted in following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Key words were contrived and deployed, along with all synonyms, across four electronic databases (Google scholar, Web of Science, PubMed, Embase). Database selection followed guidance prescribed by Bramer et al. [2] Initial searches generated 637 results. After de-duplication, title and abstract screening, full text review and application of outlined exclusion and inclusion criteria, 65 papers were identified and included. The review included articles heterogenous in study design methodology. The literature was appraised using the Quality Assessment Tool for Studies with Diverse Designs (QATSDD), a tool that has demonstrated good agreement in previous medical education research. [3] Data was extracted from the literature from six domains: Publication details, Study design, Technology, Teaching model, Results, and Overall conclusions. .

Results: The 65 articles comprised of research from 24 different countries across 6 continents. Most of the research included participants from a solely medical education background (63.1%, n=41), with the remainder stemming from the allied health sciences, stand-alone anatomy, dentistry, and surgery. 65 independent technological resources were described. “Zoom” was the most frequently used software (41.4%, n = 27) reflecting the most utilised mode of technology, video-conferencing software. Anatomy education was delivered through a myriad of online and blended learning approaches. Synchronous methodology (n = 47) included online live lectures, online laboratory teaching and interactive and small group teaching. Asynchronous approaches (n = 50) described the use of pre-recorded videos, online quizzes, and 3D anatomy adjuncts.


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Cite as

Gajic, N. & Rea, P. 2022, 'The Impact of the COVID19 Curricula on the Future of Anatomy Education', Association of Medical Education in Europe Lyon 2022, Lyon, France, 27 -31 August 2022. https://eprints.gla.ac.uk/280225/

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Last updated: 26 September 2022
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