University of Sussex
Anatomy Learning EJA Word Version.pdf (216.78 kB)

Learning clinical anatomy

Download (216.78 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 08:15 authored by Claire Smith, Gabrielle M Finn, Scott Border
SUMMARY This article places the student at the center of their own learning experience. It draws together research to enable us to put forward a theoretical framework of best practice for student learning of clinical anatomy in a modern medical curricula. Anatomical knowledge involves both propositional knowledge and non-technical knowledge. For knowledge to be gained it must be contextualized and the content matter engaged with in a way that creates meaning for the students. From a neuroanatomical basis, this involves memory processing at a synaptic level within the circuitry of the hippocampus. It is important to recognize learners as individuals with their own personality traits and spatial ability. Both of which have been shown to influence the learning of anatomy. Students can vary the way they go about learning, they may utilize a surface, deep and/or strategic learning approach. It is quite possible that each student’s approach will differ depending on their personal experience. Approach will also vary at different points of their learning journey, because in higher education, students are free to engage in a wide range of learning activities. At some point in the future students may need to relearn or reconfigured their knowledge because the initial route to understanding is superseded by either a greater need or a more sophisticated line of reasoning, for example, knowledge can be challenged via more complex clinical scenarios. Knowledge consolidation is the next stage for students/trainees and this involves embedding the restructured learning and using it in practice. This stage will vary in time depending on the content it may occur during education or many years later. Anatomy learning is a personalized journey for the individuals. However, it is the role of the educators to aid learners in the development of a education framework that makes their learning effective, meaningful and stimulating.


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Accepted version


European Journal of Anatomy




Soc. Anat. Espanola





Page range


Department affiliated with

  • Division of Medical Education Publications

Full text available

  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


First Open Access (FOA) Date


First Compliant Deposit (FCD) Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)


    No categories selected