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offered to our students by the faculty here is likely the best to be had in any American or Canadian medical school. But having observed the continued shrinkage
of traditional anatomical education in many American medical schools, I found this “old school” approach prioritizing clinical anatomy as foundational knowledge for clinical education and reasoning to be refreshing.
The faculty I worked with included a mixture of Ph.D. anatomists and practicing physician educators with backgrounds in anatomy (like me). They were very much like our faculty at Michigan – passionate and committed educators with a love of student teaching and an interest in training excellent doctors to care for the patients of tomorrow. While I had a number of interesting discussions with them contrasting and comparing medicine and medical education in the US and the
UK, my conversations with the practicing physician- anatomists working clinically in England’s National Health Service (NHS) were the most enlightening.
I came away from these discussions recognizing that while being a doctor in the UK has many of the same challenges, hardships and struggles that we face in the US, the English physicians retain a palpable sense of pride in the morality of a system that seeks justice across the board in the allocation of health care resources
to all members of their population.
During my stay the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower
occurred. This was a catastrophic fire in a 24-story tower of public housing flats in North Kensington, West London, resulting in close to 100 fatalities. Many individuals remain hospitalized in critical condition as
I write this. London is just an hour from Oxford, and of course the UK is a small country by comparison to US standards. The tragedy cast a heavy pall of sadness across the country. While only a short-term visitor,
it was impossible to be in the community and not be emotionally jarred by the tragic loss of life and injury that occurred.
I feel fortunate and privileged to have been asked to be a visiting faculty member in the Principles of Clinical Anatomy course at Oxford. I will without any question be able to transfer much of this experience into my own teaching and the continued curricular development in Michigan. At the same time, while there was much to admire at Oxford, I came away with renewed pride and respect for the quality of teaching and administrative excellence we provide to our students at the University
of Michigan Medical School.
Volume 69 • Number 3 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN 9

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