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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Your Anatomy Companion

Human anatomy is an essential core knowledge in medicine, nursing, physiotherapy and in many other health professions.  Anatomy is a vast subject requiring considerable feats of memory and an ability to understand structure in three dimensions.  The enormous step up in knowledge can prove very challenging for new entrants to the health professions leading them to use surface learning techniques to encode and recall anatomical knowledge without really understanding it.  This can lead to major gaps in anatomical knowledge in subsequent years and after graduation which undermines professional knowledge and practice.  Most anatomical texts and online resources provide complex and detailed accounts of anatomical structure without ever really attending to the challenges of learning and mastering anatomy.  We propose therefore to prepare a companion text that is designed to support health professional students’ ability to not only learn anatomy but also construct lifelong and robust understandings. We will use a foundational structural approach to anatomy, in which we layer knowledge and understanding from basic structure to more complex understandings using Bruner’s model of a spiral curriculum.  All sections will make reference not only to anatomical structure and function but also the clinical relevance associated with that structure.

Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics at NUI Galway School of Medicine

Authors and Partners

Daniel Coyle

Lead Author
Student of Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics at NUI Galway

"I am delighted that NUI Galway is funding a project that will benefit medical, nursing and healthcare students and future healthcare professionals."


Prof. Peter Cantillon

School of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery; Staff

Peter Cantillon is an educationalist with a special interest in clinical education and faculty development. He holds a personal chair in primary care. A major part of Peter's work is the development of healthcare educators and the promotion of high quality clinical education. He set up the faculty development group at NUI Galway, GAME, (the Galway Alliance of Medical Educators). He established Ireland's first inter-professional Masters course in clinical education in 2005. This highly successful blended learning course has 300+ graduates to date, many of whom have used the qualification to develop their careers as senior clinical educators and leaders in health care education