Mexican Educators Survey on Anatomical Sciences Education and a Review of World Tendencies

Anat Sci Educ. 2020 Sep 9. doi: 10.1002/ase.2017. Online ahead of print.


Anatomical sciences curricula have been under constant reform over the years, with many countries having to reduce course hours while trying to preserve laboratory time. In Mexico, schools have historically been autonomous and unregulated, and data regarding structure and methods are still lacking. A national survey was sent by the Mexican Society of Anatomy to 110 anatomical sciences educators. The questionnaire consisted of 50 items (open and multiple choice) for gross anatomy, microscopic anatomy, neuroanatomy, and embryology courses in medical schools across Mexico. A clinical approach was the most common course approach in all disciplines. Contact course hours and laboratory hours were higher in Mexican anatomy education compared to other countries, with the highest reported contact hours for embryology (133.4 ±44.1) and histology (125 ±33.2). There were similar contact hours to other countries for gross anatomy (228.5 ±60.5). Neuroanatomy course hours (43.9 ±13.1) were less than reported by the United States and similar to Saudi Arabia and higher than the United Kingdom. Dissection and microscopy with histological slides predominate as the most common laboratory activities. Traditional methods prevail in most of the courses in Mexico and only a few educators have implemented innovative and technological tools. Implementation of new methods, approaches, and curricular changes are needed to enhance anatomical sciences education in Mexico.

Keywords: Anatomical science education; Mexico; contact hours; embryology education; gross anatomy education; histology education; laboratory hours; medical education; microscopic anatomy education; neuroanatomy education.