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Education for general clinical practice. The role of anatomy, as applied to the lymphatic system


, : Education for general clinical practice. The role of anatomy, as applied to the lymphatic system. Schweizerische Medizinische Wochenschrift 129(20): 753-759, May 22

One of the most frequent criticisms of present-day medical studies is that they are unrelated to practical clinical needs. This criticism is levelled in particular at the preclinical stage. The present article is a contribution to finding a pragmatic solution to this problem. The design of the study is a survey of a representative sample of general practitioners who were asked to identify, from a complete list of structures included in the international anatomic nomenclature, those items that they regarded as indispensable in practice. Two main conclusions emerged from the survey: (1) there was a very high degree of concordance among the choices made by the physicians involved (including 92.3% of structures listed for the lymphatic system); (2) the quota of structures considered to be of practical clinical relevance was small (15.4%). These results suggest that it would be possible to teach a clinically relevant common trunk of knowledge to medical students. For this purpose, however,similar studies need to be undertaken for the other basic medical sciences. Furthermore, to ensure that medical education is really related to practical needs, clinicians will need to exert influence on the policy and content of teaching programmes in departments of basic medical science.

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