Should forensic autopsies be a source for medical education? A preliminary study

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Kucuker H., Ozen O. A., Songur A., Bas O., Demirel R.

TEACHING AND LEARNING IN MEDICINE, vol.20, no.1, pp.22-25, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10401330701798014
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.22-25
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: No


Practical anatomy sessions including dissection of cadavers are essential for anatomy courses. There are many difficulties in obtaining cadavers. In addition, hardened and discolored cadavers that are fixed with formaldehyde look unrealistic and generate apathy among students. Purpose: We considered that forensic autopsies may be used as ancillary and supportive practice in anatomy education. Methods: We invited the participation of Year 2 medical students in suitable forensic autopsy cases during the course of one year. Specialists of forensic medicine and anatomy provided theoretical support through talks in their specialized fields during the autopsy. At the end of the semester, feedback questionnaire forms were prepared and the students were asked to evaluate these sessions. Results: Forty students participated in the evaluation by completing the questionnaire. Students made positive statements about adequacy of the time of the application, consistency of the structures with theoretical and practical issues shown in anatomy lectures, and necessary explanations of the lecturers during and after the application. Conclusion: We think that forensic autopsies are an attractive supplementary educational model, and we have decided to continue the forensic autopsy practices. We believe that further studies on the evaluation of the sessions using a larger student population will lead to more conclusive results.