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The attitudes of medical students in Europe towards the clinical importance of embryology

Moxham, Bernard, Emmanouil-Nikoloussi, Elpida, Standley, Henrietta, Brenner, Erich, Plaisant, Odile, Brichova, Hana, Pais, Diogo, Stabile, Isobel, Borg, Jordy and Chirculescu, Andy 2016. The attitudes of medical students in Europe towards the clinical importance of embryology. Clinical Anatomy 29 (2) , pp. 144-150. 10.1002/ca.22667

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Although there have been many studies reporting the attitudes of medical students to the clinical importance of gross anatomy, little is known about their opinions concerning the clinical importance of embryology. Using Thurstone and Chave methods to assess attitudes, nearly 1,600 medical students across Europe in the early stages of their training provided responses to a survey that tested the hypothesis that they do not regard embryology as highly clinically relevant. Indeed, we further proposed that student attitudes to gross anatomy are much more positive than those toward embryology. Our findings show that our hypotheses hold, regardless of the university and country surveyed and regardless of the teaching methods employed for embryology. Clearly, embryology has a significant part to play in medical education in terms of understanding prenatal life, of appreciating how the organization of the mature human body has developed, and of providing essential information for general medical practice, obstetrics and pediatrics, and teratology. However, while newly recruited medical students understand the importance of gross anatomy in the development of professional competence, understanding the importance of embryology requires teachers, medical educationalists, and devisors of medical curricula to pay special attention to informing students of the significant role played by embryology in attaining clinical competence and achieving the knowledge and understanding of the biomedical sciences that underpins becoming a learned member of a health care profession.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0897-3806
Date of Acceptance: 1 November 2015
Last Modified: 18 May 2022 08:10

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