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Anatomy Education in Nigeria: An Empirical Study of Students’ Knowledge and Perceptions on Training and Prospects Towards Meeting the Country’s Need

Authors Owolabi JO, Fabiyi SO, Ogunbiyi OE, Ayorinde FO

Received 4 September 2019

Accepted for publication 1 April 2020

Published 24 April 2020 Volume 2020:11 Pages 321—334


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Azim Majumder

Joshua O Owolabi,1,2 Sunday O Fabiyi,1 Olubunmi E Ogunbiyi,1 Favour O Ayorinde1

1Department of Anatomy, Ben Carson School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Nigeria; 2Department of Anatomy, University of Global Health Equity, Kigali, Rwanda

Correspondence: Joshua O Owolabi
Department of Anatomy, Ben Carson School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ikenne, Nigeria
Tel +234 8064884305

Introduction: Anatomy is currently a basic medical science bachelor program in Nigerian universities. The roles of anatomists in the Nigeria health, education and other relevant sectors are vaguely defined. Career prospects have been perceived to be very limited.
Materials and Methods: This study was a total population survey of all Nigerian private university students that were enrolled in the Anatomy programs. Structured questionnaires were distributed to the students after securing their written informed consent. Data were obtained about the structure of their training and the program, knowledge of career prospects, motivation, potential career paths and employment prospects, as well as general opinions of the program. The target population was estimated at 1000 [N=1000].
Results: A total of 902 [n=902] properly completed and returned questionnaires were considered suitable for analysis. The results showed that 55% of the respondents were female. Half of the respondents (50.8%) had a moderate interest in Anatomy as a career while others had an interest in alternative careers. Training was found to include intensive classroom teaching and laboratory work mainly in the Gross Anatomy and Histology. Hands-on training in forms of clinical, field and industrial experiences was limited. Furthermore, slightly more than half of the respondents (51.7%) had poor attitudes towards the bachelor’s degree in Anatomy. They also perceived their job or career prospects in Anatomy as poor, citing perceived unfavorable governmental policies and very limited professional opportunities in relevant sectors including health, research, education and the public as the major influencing factors.
Conclusion: These results showed that the students had a moderate interest in pursuing a career in Anatomy. Their training was however limited in the aspects of practical and experiential learning. Their attitude was also negatively influenced by their perception of limited career prospects. Training was therefore robust in the cognitive domain but limited in psychomotor and affective. Curricular review and strategic restructuring of training methods in line with the competencies that are expected of the Anatomy program graduates would help.

Keywords: anatomy, education, students, training, universities, Nigeria, bachelor’s degree, philosophy

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