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Kaibogaku Zasshi. 1999 Aug;74(4):491-3.

Changing anatomy education and introduction of self assessment of teacher performance in Japan.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara, Japan.


The current curriculum reform is directed toward improvement of students' ability of clinical practice in primary care, and a substantial system of bedside learning is being extensively explored. Introduction of clinical clerkship necessarily forces qualitative changes in the teaching of basic medical sciences. A large number of Japanese medical schools is now attempting to establish a new educational system that makes it possible to change from "didactic education" by lectures and laboratory studies to "self learning education" by means of tutorials and other systems. In this context, Japanese anatomists are urgently requested to develop new and effective clinically oriented educational systems in teaching gross anatomy as a shift from the traditional teaching as a science of morphology. Evaluation of faculty staff's teaching achievement is about to start in many medical schools. Research activities can be evaluated quantitatively. In contrast, measurement of educational activities of faculty staff is very difficult, and all medical schools are devoted to construct effective and liable systems. Anatomy faculty is obliged to devote more time than that of other disciplines in education-related activities such as cadaver collection and associated business. How to evaluate adequately these invisible activities is an issue to be solved before the introduction of a self assessment system. Successful solutions to these issues are critical for production of future anatomists.

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