AUTOPSY AS A PART OF CURRICULUM: STUDENT’S PERCEPTIVE

Gulfreen Waheed, Mohammad Amin Mengal, Zahra Zafar Sapru, Abdul Waheed Sheikh

Abstract


Background: Autopsies continue to have a multifactorial role in the delivery of modern undergraduate
medical education, despite the radical educational reforms and decline in autopsy rates over the last
decade. This study was conducted to highlight the usefulness or otherwise of autopsy as a part of
MBBS curriculum from students’ point of view, especially in the backdrop of the controversy amongst
the medical educators on whether Forensics was to be kept as a part of MBBS curriculum. Methods:
The study design is descriptive cross-sectional study. All the students of 3rd year MBBS who had
recently completed their autopsy visits, accompanied by dedicated members of the faculty, were invited
to mark their comments on a especially designed questionnaire with 5 point Likert scale. Their
comments were analysed about how useful and necessary is autopsy is in medical education; their
personal distaste for the procedure; staff attitudes; and exploration of alternative teaching methods. The
data was analysed to determine simple frequency distribution and mode of the students’ responses. The
difference between male and female students’ responses was calculated by using Chi Square through
crosstab. All analyses were carried out using SPSS Version 19. Results: The data collated from the
questionnaire showed that, students regard the autopsy as useful in medical education, and alternatives
like videos and printed literature would not be as effective. For some, autopsy was a stressful event and
few actually found it an unpleasant and distasteful experience. Majority students agreed that the attitude
of the teaching staff was supportive of the learning process. Conclusions: It is concluded that teaching
based on autopsy teaches valuable skills, some of which are not easily learnt elsewhere, however, the
unpleasant aspects of the autopsy demonstration should be kept to a minimum to encourage attendance
and promote a sense of its value.
Keywords: Students, views, autopsy, medical curriculum

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