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The art of anatomy teaching

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date2010
Number of pages0
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventNorth East Universities (3 Rivers Consortium) Third Regional Learning and Teaching Conference - Sunderland, United Kingdom
Duration: 30/03/2010 → …


ConferenceNorth East Universities (3 Rivers Consortium) Third Regional Learning and Teaching Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period30/03/10 → …


Anatomy is a subject steeped in tradition, commonly taught using cadaveric specimens. However, in practice, doctors generally deal with the body in its living form. This includes physical examination and medical imaging.

With this in mind, we have devised an anatomy curriculum which challenges the expected tradition of dissection based teaching. Durham utilises a diverse range of teaching modalities which incorporates innovative technologies and art –based approaches as part of a blended learning environment.

Our teaching methods also explore the relationship between aesthetic impact, sociological significance and technical learning about the human body through the medium of body painting and other highly visual approaches. These include the projection of images on the surface of the body, and use of ‘wearable art’ in the form of garments with both artistic and medical meanings.

Students’ learning transfers from surface to deep through the use of these different teaching tools. We engage students with technology by using an audience response system (Keepad™), and by streaming lectures using Recap. Technologies, such as ultrasound, once restricted to hospital use, are now fully integrated into our student-centred curriculum. This enables a ‘living anatomy’ focus and maintains a clinical context to all teaching.

These approaches benefit our diverse student cohorts which include visual, kinesthetic, tactile and auditory learners. It is enjoyed as an adjunct to didactic lectures. In addition, we consciously aim to engage students in discussions about the relationship between art, aesthetics, technology, and medicine through these media.

In this presentation we aim to give an overview of our diverse range of approaches, and explain the associated benefits of using each.