Attitudes and perception of medical students to autopsy in Ilorin, Nigeria
AbstractThere has been an unfortunate decline in the use of autopsy as a learning tool for medical students, with most students graduating without attending a single autopsy session. We present the views of the medical students of the University of Ilorin, North-Central Nigeria on the practice of autopsy. An open-ended questionnaire on the practice of autopsy was administered to 4th and 5th year medical students, who had received instructions on autopsy practice and pathology. Respondents\' rate was 51.3%. The mean age of the respondents was 24.5. About 70% of the respondents demonstrated good knowledge of the practice of autopsy. Only 2 respondents (1%) had observed more than 2 autopsies and only 4 (2.1%) had assisted in the procedure in the past. Eighty-four (84.6%) percent will be willing to request for autopsy on their dead patients. Religious and cultural beliefs did not significantly affect the perception of the students on the practice of autopsy. Only 66.7% of the respondents would support a mandatory attendance at specified number of the procedure as requisite for the award of degree. The knowledge of the respondents is fairly good. There is a need to carefully incorporate autopsy into the curriculum of medical students, while unpleasant aspects of the demonstration should be kept to a minimum to encourage attendance and to promote a sense of value.
Keywords: attitudes, perception, autopsy practice
Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 48(4) 2005: 91-94