Assessing Anatomy as a Basic Medical Science

  • Dujeepa D. SamarasekeraEmail author
  • Ponnampalam Gopalakrishnakone
  • Matthew C. E. Gwee


Human Anatomy is the foundation for professional training in medicine and related paramedical sciences such as dentistry, nursing, biomedical engineering. However the subject is very complex and teaching students to understand and appreciate it encompasses many learning modalities as well as cognition. The traditional learning method of anatomy has been rote memorization of factual core knowledge without deep understanding and thereby the students find it difficult to recall anatomical knowledge needed for interpretation of clinical scenarios.

In order to improve the situation and encourage in-depth learning, good assessment methods are needed. These methods should also assess application of knowledge, cognitive skills, communication skills and professionalism. To achieve this, the assessment process has to be defined in relation to the subject.

The best practices of anatomy assessment are described based on the five stages in the development of this process. Also the utility index of assessment systems and the components are described in detail, such as validity, reliability, educational impact, acceptability, cost, etc.

The chapter also examines the various modes of assessing anatomical knowledge and thereby the tools that could be used to determine whether the students have gained a deep understanding of anatomical knowledge which has been outlined in the learning outcomes and are able to utilize it in later years for clinical reasoning.


Summative Assessment Future Practice Health Professional Education Assessment Blueprint Rote Memorization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dujeepa D. Samarasekera
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ponnampalam Gopalakrishnakone
    • 2
  • Matthew C. E. Gwee
    • 3
  1. 1.Medical Education UnitYong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, National University Health SystemSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of AnatomyYong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, National University Health SystemSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Medical Education Unit, Dean’s OfficeYong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, National University Health SystemSingaporeSingapore

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