Relationship of Creative Projects in Anatomy to Medical Student Professionalism, Test Performance and Stress: An Exploratory Study

Johanna Shapiro, Vincent P Nguyen, Sarah Mourra, John R Boker, Marianne Ross, Trung M Thai and Robert J Leonard

Although the necessity and utility of anatomy lab dissection experiences have been questioned, with some schools substituting virtual training for actual cadavers, the course has also been defended as the first, and crucial, training ground for aspects of professionalism, such as respect for patients, accountability for one’s actions, teamwork, leadership and social responsibility, as well as various humanistic attitudes. In this sense, dissection is proposed as a key experience in a student’s journey toward becoming a physician. Anatomy is sometimes considered the student’s first clinical experience, with the cadaver viewed as the student’s first patient.

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