A Survey on the Role and the Status
of Cadavers in Medical Education:
An Indian Scenario
Dr. Ashwini Chamanahalli Appaji
1465, 5th Main 2nd Stage, 1st E Block,
Rajajinagar, Bangalore, Karnataka, India - 560010.
Cadavers are very much essential for medical students to learn the anatomy, especially with respect to its relationships. It has also gained scope into other uses in the form of workshops and training for postgraduates in the field of the surgical sciences. In order to know the status and the role of cadavers, a survey was undertaken in randomly selected medical and dental colleges.
A prevalidated questionnaire was sent by post to the medical and the dental colleges regarding the status of the cadavers, the courses which were offered,the presence of voluntary body donation programs, their registrations, the concept of organ donation, its practices and the mode of disposal of the cadavers. The data which was thus collected was statistically analyzed by various factors, by using univariate statistical analysis.
The number of colleges which responded to the questionnaire were 57.3% (n=96). It was noted that 63.8% had just barely sufficient numbers of cadavers for the purpose of dissection during the 1st year of the anatomy course. The ideal student cadaver ratio has been referred to as 10:1, whereas the existing average ratio was 20:1. Only 49% of the institutions had an ideal student cadaver ratio. A voluntary body donation program was observed in 70.9% of the institutions. These institutions were aware of organ donations, mainly in the form of eye donations.
This study revealed poor conditions for the learning process. The cadavers act as the instruments of learning as well as the donors of life in the form of organ donations. If they are propagated and implemented in the right way, voluntary body donations can be a good source of cadavers.