Observations by a university anatomy teacher and a suggestion for curricular change: Integrative anatomy for undergraduates

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Department or Administrative Unit

Biological Sciences

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The observation that anatomical course offerings have decreased in undergraduate biology curricula is supported by a survey of undergraduate institutions in the state of Washington. This reduction, due partially to increased emphasis in other areas of the biology curriculum, along with the lack of anatomy prerequisites for admission to most medical and dental schools, has resulted in many biology majors who have little or no exposure to the anatomical sciences. This is a disservice to our students who need to understand organismal form and function to better connect our rapidly expanding knowledge of life at the cell and molecular level to our understanding of the role of organisms in ecosystems and as the primary target of natural selection in evolutionary change. Undergraduate anatomical courses can also serve as an extension of the anatomy curriculum in professional healthcare programs, where anatomical sciences are also experiencing a reduced allocation of instructional time. Given the importance of anatomical knowledge along with the many demands and constraints on biology curricula, what can we do? One suggestion, a course in integrative anatomy for undergraduates, is proposed and discussed.


This article was originally published in Anatomical Sciences Education. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Anatomical Sciences Education


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