The Anatomical Society Core Embryology Syllabus for undergraduate medicine

Holland, Jane and Smith, Claire and O'Shea, Marie and Stewart, Jane and Ockleford, Colin Douglas and Finn, Gabrielle (2019) The Anatomical Society Core Embryology Syllabus for undergraduate medicine. Journal of Anatomy, 235 (4). pp. 847-860. ISSN 0021-8782

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A modified Delphi methodology was used to develop a consensus regarding a series of learning outcome statements to act as the foundation of an undergraduate medical core embryology syllabus. A Delphi panel was formed by recruiting stakeholders with experience in leading undergraduate teaching of medical students. The panel (n=18), including anatomists, embryologists and practising clinicians, were nominated by members of Council and/or the Education Committee of the Anatomical Society. Following development of an a priori set of learning outcome statements (n=62) by the authors, panel members were asked in the first of a two-stage process to ‘accept’, ‘reject’ or ‘modify’ each learning outcome, to propose additional outcomes if desired. In the second stage, the panel were asked to either accept or reject sixteen statements which had either been modified, or had failed to reach consensus, during the first Delphi round. Overall, sixty-one of sixty-two learning outcome statements, each linked to examples of clinical conditions to provide context, achieved an 80% level of agreement following the modified Delphi process and were therefore deemed accepted for inclusion within the syllabus. The proposed syllabus allows for flexibility within individual curricula, while still prioritising and focusing on the core level of knowledge of embryological processes by presenting the essential elements to all newly-qualified doctors, regardless of their subsequent chosen specialty.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Anatomy
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Holland, J. C., Smith, C. , O'Shea, M. , Stewart, J. , Ockleford, C. and Finn, G. M. (2019), The anatomical society core embryology syllabus for undergraduate medicine. J. Anat.. doi:10.1111/joa.13023 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? anatomy educationembryology educationintegrated curriculummedical educationsyllabusundergraduate educationanatomyecology, evolution, behavior and systematicscell biologydevelopmental biologymolecular biologyhistology ??
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22 Jun 2019 08:58
Last Modified:
13 Jun 2024 01:27