University of Sussex

File(s) not publicly available

Building near-peer teaching into the anatomy curriculum – a national perspective from anatomy educators and students

posted on 2023-06-09, 04:02 authored by S Hall, J Stephens, Claire SmithClaire Smith, S Border
Near-peer teaching (NPT) is a highly valuable resource in medical education, with a long estab-lished history in anatomy. In the past its application has often been informal and unregulated, how-ever, it is now becoming increasingly common for Faculties to work in partnership with students and deliver it as part of a formal curriculum. Implementing an effective and sustainable NPT programme takes considerable planning and or-ganisation, but if applied appropriately it can significantly enhance the student learning experience, improve knowledge and build a spirit of engagement amongst learners. Designing the ‘most effec-tive’ NPT session is dependent on many factors and remains open to the individual educator’s choice and experience. As invited speakers at The Anatomical Society Summer Meeting, 2016, the authors delivered a workshop exploring how to imbed an effective and sustainable NPT programme into their anatomy teaching. Attendees had the opportunity to blueprint a working model of NPT into a hypothetical anatomy curriculum. Discussions focused on evaluating key criteria cited from the literature as a basis for determining best practice. Seventy-eight participants took part in the workshop. Overall, the most popular design of the NPT programme was a combination of frontline and revision teaching (62%). Participants felt the teach-ers must attend formal training sessions (50%) with their experiences counting towards a fully ac-credited award/ qualifications (38%). The consideration that proved most controversial was the educational distance between the learner and the teacher. The most popular educational distance (41%) was +2-years, a finding consistent with recently published data. Applying NPT in musculoskeletal anatomy attracted the greatest ma-jority of votes (66%), with participants reporting the ‘functional’ nature of this body system lending itself well to this approach. Benefits of NPT have been well documented within anatomical education. However, the exact format these sessions should take remains open to individual judgment and experience. It is en-couraging to see the majority of anatomy educators are open to the idea of incorporating NPT into curriculums, although reservations do persist in some areas, particularly with maintaining quality control.


Publication status

  • Published

Presentation Type

  • paper

Event name

Anatomical Society Winter 2016 Meeting

Event location

King's College, London

Event type


Event date

19-21 December 2016

Department affiliated with

  • Division of Medical Education Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager