Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Belliveau, Daniel


Within the field of health professional education, one finds that anatomy often presents students with a great deal of difficulty. The literature in this area is piecemeal and there is limited work available examining the whole of this topic. A scoping review was conducted to determine how students are taught anatomy across multiple disciplines (medicine, dentistry, rehabilitation sciences, and undergraduate education) and to assess for any notable differences between these populations. The results found that scholarship on anatomy instruction varies based on educational context, and medical students are the most frequently targeted student population. It also found that the use of medical imaging and computer aided instruction is increasing while the use of cadaveric dissection has remained constant. Furthermore, the lack of cadaveric dissection in an anatomy curriculum does not necessarily hinder student learning when alternative teaching modalities are implemented.

Summary for Lay Audience

Anatomy is a complicated subject for students to learn, but it is critical in the delivery of safe clinical care by healthcare practitioners. Due to the complexity of anatomy, many healthcare professionals do not receive sufficient anatomy training. This thesis used a scoping review to capture how anatomy is taught to different student populations to assess the methods with which students are taught anatomy. It is expected that understanding this aspect of student education in the subject of anatomy will help lead to better educational outcomes.

Included in

Anatomy Commons