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Attitude of Preclinical Students to Cadaver Dissection in a South West Nigerian Medical School

DOI: 10.3923/ijtmed.2012.1.5

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Abstract:

Dissection of cadaver has been central to medical education since the Renaissance however, there are variety of mixed feelings and emotional reactions experienced by students when they are exposed to human cadavers. This present study was conducted to determine the altitude of pre-clinical students in their 1st year training in a medical school to cadaver dissection in anatomical studies. Questionnaire with 20 statements was administered to 65 students of Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria. The questionnaires required them to choose one out of three possible responses; yes, no or undecided as its best and truthfully describe their response to the question. However, out of the 65 students involved in this survey, 60 students responded correctly and completely and their answers were analyzed by descriptive statistics. Majority of the students (70%) found their first visit to the dissection room exciting, 46.7% were upset at the beginning of the dissection while 36.7% showed anxiety and stress immediately before and during dissection. About 76.7% were mentally prepared for dissection and 20% were not. Total 81.7% of the students agreed that dissection enhanced their thinking ability and 93.3% were of the option that dissection provided the best method for learning anatomy. About 90% of them considered cadaver dissection as ethically acceptable while 50% reported that prior experience of a dead body helped them develop a better coping mechanism. Most students (98.3%) considered the dissection of cadaver very important in anatomy learning. Total 86.6 and 91.7% of medical students reported that cadaver dissection is religiously and culturally acceptable, respectively. Conclusively, it may be inferred that cadaver dissection is still significant in anatomy learning.

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