Emotional experiences of medical students during cadaver dissection and the role of memorial ceremonies: A qualitative study 13 Education 1303 Specialist Studies in Education

Hyung Joo Chang, Hyun Jung Kim, Im Joo Rhyu, Young-Mee Lee, Chang Sub Uhm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: It has been well reported that the emotional experiences of medical students in the gross anatomy laboratory could have significant impacts on their professional identity formation. This qualitative study aimed to investigate students' emotions towards cadaver dissection and the educational role of memorial ceremonies. Methods: A total of 37 students from eight teams were recruited in the team-based dissection course during two consecutive academic years (2016 and 2017) at one medical school. In focus group interviews, students were encouraged to express and discuss their emotions regarding cadaver dissection and memorial ceremonies. Results: The participants described their apprehension and anxiety during their first encounter with cadavers that diminished through gradual exposure. Unfortunately, their positive emotions such as gratitude and responsibility also tended to decline under the pressure of excessive workloads and frequent examinations. Memorial ceremonies, including not only large-scale events but also daily rituals, had educational effects that they prevented the decline of students' responsibility and respect during the dissection course. Conclusion: Educators should assist medical students in overcoming their initial distress and maintaining respectful attitudes throughout the dissection course. Memorial ceremonies can be effective educational tools for fostering appropriate attitudes and ethical practice in the gross anatomy laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number255
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 12

Keywords

  • Cadaver donors
  • Emotional experiences
  • Gross anatomy education
  • Medical students
  • Memorial ceremonies
  • Professionalism education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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