Embryology in the medical curriculum

Anat Rec. 2002 Apr 15;269(2):89-98. doi: 10.1002/ar.10075.


Embryology as a field is in a period of unprecedented change in its knowledge base. Similarly, this is a period of great change in medical curricular planning. One of the most significant questions in embryology education for medical students is how much of the "new" molecular embryology to mix with the "old" developmental anatomy approach. The other question is the most effective venue for instruction in medical embryology. Not all medical curricula have the same objectives; nor do they use the same educational approach. With that in mind, this review outlines several ways in which medical embryology can be offered and how it can be integrated into the medical curriculum. It also lays out topics that are worthy of inclusion in a modern embryology course or sequence.

MeSH terms

  • Congenital Abnormalities / etiology
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical*
  • Embryology / education*
  • Humans
  • Learning