Changing concepts of neuroanatomy teaching in medical education

Teach Learn Med. 2011 Oct;23(4):359-64. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2011.611777.


Background: Anatomy teaching is often described as foundational in the education of physicians, but in recent years there has been increasing pressure on teachers of neuroanatomy to justify its place in the curriculum.

Summary: This article examines theoretical assumptions that have traditionally influenced the neuroanatomy curriculum and explains how evolution of thought in the field of medical education has led to a shift in how the pedagogy of neuroanatomy is conceptualized.

Conclusions: The widespread adoption of competency-based education, the emphasis on outcome-based objectives, patient- and learner-centered approaches, and a renewed interest in humanistic aspects of medical education have all contributed to a changing educational milieu. These changes have led to a number of curricular innovations. However, questions remain as to what should be taught to medical learners, and how best to teach it.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum*
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Models, Educational
  • Neuroanatomy / education*
  • Schools, Medical
  • Students, Medical
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Teaching / trends