Using gross anatomy to teach and assess professionalism in the first year of medical school

Clin Anat. 2006 Jul;19(5):437-41. doi: 10.1002/ca.20331.


The public is uneasy about the lack of professionalism in physicians chronicled in the different news media. Since professionalism is a set of values developed over a period of time, it is imperative that the evaluation of medical students in regard to these values begins early in their medical school education. In the Gross Anatomy laboratory there are opportunities for students to display such aspects of professionalism as responsibility/accountability for actions, working with others (teamwork), respect for patients, and social responsibility. Because students spend a significant time in the Gross Anatomy laboratory with the faculty, this setting can provide the forum for faculty to assess the expression of principles of professionalism by the students. This requires faculty who are committed to evaluating the progress of students in this regard. Faculty can monitor work ethic, interpersonal relationships, and overall attitude of these students throughout the course. Thus, aspects of professionalism can be introduced, monitored, and evaluated as early as the first semester of medical school.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy / education*
  • Anatomy / ethics
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate* / ethics
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Professional Competence*
  • Schools, Medical* / ethics
  • Students, Medical