Benefits of Traditional Cadaveric Dissection in a Digital World: Medical and Dental Students’Perspectives

Document Type


Publication Date



The aim of the present study was to assess the benefits of cadaver dissection in the process of learning anatomy and to determine the degree of student’s respect toward the donors. An anonymous survey was distributed to 265 first-year students: 103 medical students (39%) and 162 dental students (61%) who conducted cadaveric dissection during their gross anatomy course. Ninety five percent of medical students and 98% of dental students found the dissection beneficial. They listed the most valuable aspects of cadaver dissection as visual learning (56–58% female, 40–45% male), hands-on experience (34–36% female, 36–48% male), and spatial learning (28–31% female, 17–33% male). All students (100%) declared appropriate respect and appreciation for the donors. Most of medical and dental students were in favor of organ donation; however less than half would consider donating their own body for educational purposes. They disagreed (94% of medical students and 86% of dental students) with the idea of completely replacing cadaver dissection with computer-based programs. These results suggest that medical and dental students regard cadaver dissection as an effective learning experience that reinforces lecture and textbook material and provides a better understanding of the complexity and variability of the human body.



Find in your library

Off-Campus WSU Users