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Clin Anat. 2006 Jul;19(5):461-7.

The role of gross anatomy in promoting professionalism: a neglected opportunity!

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Department of Pathology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda 92350, and Medical Department, Avenal Community Health Center, California, USA.


Professionalism is one of the six areas of competency defined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Unprofessional behavior is the single most common cause for disciplinary action against medical students in their clinical rotations, residents, and clinical practitioners. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) will like to see professionalism taught and evaluated across medical school. Gross Anatomy, with cadaver laboratory dissection, is in a unique position to preside over a rich number of activities where behaviors of professionalism can be taught, practiced, and rewarded. Such activities will be comparable to the behaviors of professionalism taught in clinical rotations. This article highlights the essential involvement and tools that can be used to teach, evaluate, and promote behaviors of professionalism accessible in the laboratory with cadaver dissection.

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