Relevance of human anatomy in daily clinical practice

Luis Alfonso Arráez-Aybar, Indalecio Sánchez-Montesinos, Rosa M. Mirapeix, Blanca Mompeo-Corredera, Jose Ramón Sañudo-Tejero

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77 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this study has been to evaluate the relevance of gross human anatomy in daily clinical practice and to compare it to that of other basic sciences (biochemistry, bioethics, cytohistology, microbiology, pharmacology, physiology, psychology). Materials and methods: A total of 1250 questionnaires were distributed among 38 different medical speciality professionals. Answers were analyzed taking into account speciality (medical, surgery and others), professional status (training physician or staff member) and professional experience. Results: The response rate was 42.9% (n= 536). Gross human anatomy was considered the most relevant basic discipline for surgical specialists, while pharmacology and physiology were most relevant for medical specialists. Knowledge of anatomy was also considered fundamental for understanding neurological or musculoskeletal disorders. In undergraduate programmes, the most important focuses in teaching anatomy were radiological, topographical and functional anatomy followed by systematic anatomy. In daily medical practice anatomy was considered basic for physical examination, symptom interpretation and interpretation of radiological images. When professional status or professional experience was considered, small variations were shown and there were no significant differences related to gender or community. Conclusion: Our results underline the relevance of basic sciences (gross anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology) in daily professional activity. Evidence-based studies such as ours, lend greater credibility and objectivity to the role of gross anatomy in the undergraduate training of health professionals and should help to establish a more appropriate curriculum for future professionals. © 2010 Elsevier GmbH.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-348
JournalAnnals of Anatomy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2010


  • Anatomical education undergraduate
  • Evidence-based medical education
  • Gross anatomy curriculum
  • Medical curriculum
  • Medical education


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