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Conference Paper: Why is anatomy difficult to learn? Exploring the views of anatomy teachers and anatomy learners with varying years of experience

TitleWhy is anatomy difficult to learn? Exploring the views of anatomy teachers and anatomy learners with varying years of experience
Authors
Issue Date2020
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journals/JOA
Citation
Proceedings of the 19th International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA) Congress, London, UK, 9‐11 August 2019. In Journal of Anatomy, 2020, v. 236 n. S1, p. 228-229, abstract no. P2-E20 How to Cite?
AbstractAnatomy education is a key component of medical and healthcare professional education. Successful translation of theoretical knowledge to clinical scenarios is key to desirable healthcare outcomes. However, students often find anatomy difficult to learn and poor retention of anatomical knowledge in medical practice has been reported worldwide. Most studies have focused on perceptions of junior medical students but few examined views from anatomy teachers or students with more experience with the subject. This qualitative study aimed to explore the perceived difficulties in anatomy learning using a grounded theory approach. This approach involves identifying and integrating common themes from the data set and ultimately reaching a theory to explain the observed phenomenon. Individual interviews were conducted with second-year and final-year medical students, junior doctors and anatomy educators (n=16) with informed consent obtained. Regions that were reported as most challenging to learn included: 1) neuroanatomy; and 2) head and neck. Coding themes of prevalent issues included: 1) working memory load; 2) three-dimensional (3D) structures that are difficult to observe in real human body; and 3) translation between dimensionalities (2D to 3D and vice versa). View of anatomical structures being obscured was a common learning difficulty amongst different cohorts. Novice learners have never seen real human anatomical structures whilst more experienced learners and even educators sometimes struggle to identify structures due to their sizes or locations. It becomes challenging to learn 3D structures solely from 2D illustrations and this increases cognitive load as learners need to expend more effort to imagine what real structures look like. Being able to see and identify real structures is an important component to students’ learning. This is missing with structures such as nerves and vessels in the head and neck region. Future study will look at the impact of object visualisation ability on students’ learning of anatomy.
DescriptionOrganizer: Anatomical Society
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/286103
ISSN
2019 Impact Factor: 2.013
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.056

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorCheung, CC-
dc.contributor.authorBridges, SM-
dc.contributor.authorChan, LK-
dc.date.accessioned2020-08-31T06:59:09Z-
dc.date.available2020-08-31T06:59:09Z-
dc.date.issued2020-
dc.identifier.citationProceedings of the 19th International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA) Congress, London, UK, 9‐11 August 2019. In Journal of Anatomy, 2020, v. 236 n. S1, p. 228-229, abstract no. P2-E20-
dc.identifier.issn0021-8782-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/286103-
dc.descriptionOrganizer: Anatomical Society-
dc.description.abstractAnatomy education is a key component of medical and healthcare professional education. Successful translation of theoretical knowledge to clinical scenarios is key to desirable healthcare outcomes. However, students often find anatomy difficult to learn and poor retention of anatomical knowledge in medical practice has been reported worldwide. Most studies have focused on perceptions of junior medical students but few examined views from anatomy teachers or students with more experience with the subject. This qualitative study aimed to explore the perceived difficulties in anatomy learning using a grounded theory approach. This approach involves identifying and integrating common themes from the data set and ultimately reaching a theory to explain the observed phenomenon. Individual interviews were conducted with second-year and final-year medical students, junior doctors and anatomy educators (n=16) with informed consent obtained. Regions that were reported as most challenging to learn included: 1) neuroanatomy; and 2) head and neck. Coding themes of prevalent issues included: 1) working memory load; 2) three-dimensional (3D) structures that are difficult to observe in real human body; and 3) translation between dimensionalities (2D to 3D and vice versa). View of anatomical structures being obscured was a common learning difficulty amongst different cohorts. Novice learners have never seen real human anatomical structures whilst more experienced learners and even educators sometimes struggle to identify structures due to their sizes or locations. It becomes challenging to learn 3D structures solely from 2D illustrations and this increases cognitive load as learners need to expend more effort to imagine what real structures look like. Being able to see and identify real structures is an important component to students’ learning. This is missing with structures such as nerves and vessels in the head and neck region. Future study will look at the impact of object visualisation ability on students’ learning of anatomy.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journals/JOA-
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Anatomy-
dc.relation.ispartofThe 19th International Federation Associations of Anatomists (IFAA) Congress-
dc.rightsThe definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com-
dc.titleWhy is anatomy difficult to learn? Exploring the views of anatomy teachers and anatomy learners with varying years of experience-
dc.typeConference_Paper-
dc.identifier.emailCheung, CC: cccrocky@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.emailBridges, SM: sbridges@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.emailChan, LK: lapki@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityBridges, SM=rp00048-
dc.identifier.authorityChan, LK=rp00536-
dc.identifier.hkuros313465-
dc.identifier.volume236-
dc.identifier.issueS1-
dc.identifier.spage228-
dc.identifier.epage229-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom-
dc.identifier.partofdoi10.1111/joa.13163-

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