The use of autopsy in preclinical medical education

A survey of pathology educators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Context.-Declining rates and increased competition for student contact hours pose challenges to integrating autopsies into preclinical curricula. Some have stated that the practice is minimally used with few students having the opportunity to observe necropsies. Objective.-To determine the degree to and manner in which autopsies are used in the preclinical medical education. Design.-A survey was distributed to the membership of the Group for Research in Pathology Education, an organization of preclinical pathology educators, assessing the nature of preclinical student exposure to postmortem examinations, how the experience was integrated in curricula, and attitudes toward the practice. Results.-Fifty-one of 131 instructors (38.9%) responded. Most (86.2%) integrated autopsy material into coursework, usually in pathology education (63.1%) with 10.7% using it in discussions on end-of-life issues. The majority (74.5%) furnish students the opportunity to observe autopsies, typically in small groups. Volume was the only variable significantly related to whether the opportunity was provided (P <.001). The experience was required in 56.3% of schools and usually less than 10% of students attended voluntarily. Although most educators felt it was important in general and pathology curricula, responses were mixed regarding autopsy's utility in discussions on death and dying. Common challenges were low autopsy numbers and busy class schedules. Conclusions.-Most surveyed schools formally offer the opportunity to observe autopsies and incorporate autopsy themes in curricula. However, as only 41% of these institutions require the practice and most medical students did not view an autopsy voluntarily, less than half of preclinical students actually observe postmortem examinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1053
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume134
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

Fingerprint

Medical Education
Autopsy
Pathology
Students
Curriculum
Surveys and Questionnaires
Education
Medical Students
Appointments and Schedules
Organizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

Cite this

The use of autopsy in preclinical medical education : A survey of pathology educators. / Talmon, Geoffrey A.

In: Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Vol. 134, No. 7, 01.07.2010, p. 1047-1053.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{85e31c1d1cb84912a0e9e3f3eb769ffa,
title = "The use of autopsy in preclinical medical education: A survey of pathology educators",
abstract = "Context.-Declining rates and increased competition for student contact hours pose challenges to integrating autopsies into preclinical curricula. Some have stated that the practice is minimally used with few students having the opportunity to observe necropsies. Objective.-To determine the degree to and manner in which autopsies are used in the preclinical medical education. Design.-A survey was distributed to the membership of the Group for Research in Pathology Education, an organization of preclinical pathology educators, assessing the nature of preclinical student exposure to postmortem examinations, how the experience was integrated in curricula, and attitudes toward the practice. Results.-Fifty-one of 131 instructors (38.9{\%}) responded. Most (86.2{\%}) integrated autopsy material into coursework, usually in pathology education (63.1{\%}) with 10.7{\%} using it in discussions on end-of-life issues. The majority (74.5{\%}) furnish students the opportunity to observe autopsies, typically in small groups. Volume was the only variable significantly related to whether the opportunity was provided (P <.001). The experience was required in 56.3{\%} of schools and usually less than 10{\%} of students attended voluntarily. Although most educators felt it was important in general and pathology curricula, responses were mixed regarding autopsy's utility in discussions on death and dying. Common challenges were low autopsy numbers and busy class schedules. Conclusions.-Most surveyed schools formally offer the opportunity to observe autopsies and incorporate autopsy themes in curricula. However, as only 41{\%} of these institutions require the practice and most medical students did not view an autopsy voluntarily, less than half of preclinical students actually observe postmortem examinations.",
author = "Talmon, {Geoffrey A}",
year = "2010",
month = "7",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "134",
pages = "1047--1053",
journal = "Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine",
issn = "0003-9985",
publisher = "College of American Pathologists",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The use of autopsy in preclinical medical education

T2 - A survey of pathology educators

AU - Talmon, Geoffrey A

PY - 2010/7/1

Y1 - 2010/7/1

N2 - Context.-Declining rates and increased competition for student contact hours pose challenges to integrating autopsies into preclinical curricula. Some have stated that the practice is minimally used with few students having the opportunity to observe necropsies. Objective.-To determine the degree to and manner in which autopsies are used in the preclinical medical education. Design.-A survey was distributed to the membership of the Group for Research in Pathology Education, an organization of preclinical pathology educators, assessing the nature of preclinical student exposure to postmortem examinations, how the experience was integrated in curricula, and attitudes toward the practice. Results.-Fifty-one of 131 instructors (38.9%) responded. Most (86.2%) integrated autopsy material into coursework, usually in pathology education (63.1%) with 10.7% using it in discussions on end-of-life issues. The majority (74.5%) furnish students the opportunity to observe autopsies, typically in small groups. Volume was the only variable significantly related to whether the opportunity was provided (P <.001). The experience was required in 56.3% of schools and usually less than 10% of students attended voluntarily. Although most educators felt it was important in general and pathology curricula, responses were mixed regarding autopsy's utility in discussions on death and dying. Common challenges were low autopsy numbers and busy class schedules. Conclusions.-Most surveyed schools formally offer the opportunity to observe autopsies and incorporate autopsy themes in curricula. However, as only 41% of these institutions require the practice and most medical students did not view an autopsy voluntarily, less than half of preclinical students actually observe postmortem examinations.

AB - Context.-Declining rates and increased competition for student contact hours pose challenges to integrating autopsies into preclinical curricula. Some have stated that the practice is minimally used with few students having the opportunity to observe necropsies. Objective.-To determine the degree to and manner in which autopsies are used in the preclinical medical education. Design.-A survey was distributed to the membership of the Group for Research in Pathology Education, an organization of preclinical pathology educators, assessing the nature of preclinical student exposure to postmortem examinations, how the experience was integrated in curricula, and attitudes toward the practice. Results.-Fifty-one of 131 instructors (38.9%) responded. Most (86.2%) integrated autopsy material into coursework, usually in pathology education (63.1%) with 10.7% using it in discussions on end-of-life issues. The majority (74.5%) furnish students the opportunity to observe autopsies, typically in small groups. Volume was the only variable significantly related to whether the opportunity was provided (P <.001). The experience was required in 56.3% of schools and usually less than 10% of students attended voluntarily. Although most educators felt it was important in general and pathology curricula, responses were mixed regarding autopsy's utility in discussions on death and dying. Common challenges were low autopsy numbers and busy class schedules. Conclusions.-Most surveyed schools formally offer the opportunity to observe autopsies and incorporate autopsy themes in curricula. However, as only 41% of these institutions require the practice and most medical students did not view an autopsy voluntarily, less than half of preclinical students actually observe postmortem examinations.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77954356415&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77954356415&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 134

SP - 1047

EP - 1053

JO - Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

JF - Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

SN - 0003-9985

IS - 7

ER -