Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 30-March-2012, Vol 125 No 1352
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Options for postgraduate anatomy education in Australia and New Zealand
Ian S Campbell, Carly M Fox
Medical education in Australia has changed considerably in recent times. As a result, hours dedicated to subjects such as anatomy have been reduced. Young doctors preparing for a career in anatomy-focussed specialties such as surgery and radiology require an indepth knowledge of this subject matter. Many Australian and New Zealand universities now offer postgraduate anatomy courses to address this potential gap in a budding surgeon’s education. This article summarises the current options for postgraduate surgical anatomy education in Australia and New Zealand.
All universities in Australia and New Zealand were contacted between September 2010 and December 2010 regarding the nature and content of course offerings. An Internet-based search was also conducted.
There are currently nine universities in Australia and New Zealand offering postgraduate anatomy courses. Courses vary in contact hours, dissection time, lecture content, and examination methods. There are currently two universities offering a Postgraduate Diploma of Surgical Anatomy—the University of Melbourne, and the University of Otago. University of Western Australia and the University of New England offer a graduate diploma and a graduate certificate, respectively. Several other universities offer courses that deliver quality anatomical education but do not award students a university-recognised qualification. The Australian Orthopaedic Association now offers courses in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane, which delivers anatomy education specific to orthopaedics.
There are a number of courses available to budding surgeons and radiologists to help fill the anatomy education void. With the development of such courses questions of accessibility, affordability and equity remain.
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