Anatomical sciences in chiropractic education: a survey of chiropractic programs in Australia

Rosemary Giuriato*, Goran Štrkalj, Amanda J. Meyer, Nalini Pather

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Human anatomy knowledge is a core requirement for all health care clinicians. There is a paucity of information relating to anatomy content and delivery in Australian chiropractic programs. The aim of this study was to describe anatomy teaching in Australian chiropractic programs, utilizing a survey which was distributed to all four programs, requesting information on: anatomy program structure, delivery methods, assessment, teaching resources, and academic staff profile at their institution. The survey was undertaken in 2016 and documented practices in that academic year. All four institutions responded. There was a reported difference in the teaching hours, content, delivery and assessment of anatomy utilized in Australian chiropractic programs. Anatomy was compulsory at all four institutions with the mean total of 214 (SD ± 100.2) teaching hours. Teaching was undertaken by permanent ongoing (30%) and sessional academic staff, and student to teacher ratio varied from 15:1 to 12:1. A variety of teaching resources were utilized, including human tissue access, either as prosected cadavers or plastinated body parts. The results of this survey confirm that anatomy has an established place in chiropractic education programs in Australia and while curricular variations exist, all programs had similar course design, delivery, and assessment methods. This study confirmed the provision of a strong foundation in topographical anatomy and neuroanatomy, while other anatomical sciences, such as histology and embryology were not consistently delivered. Formalization of a core anatomy curriculum together with competency standards is needed to assist program evaluation and development, and for accreditation purposes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37-47
    Number of pages11
    JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


    • anatomy curriculum
    • Australia
    • chiropractic education
    • gross anatomy education
    • survey
    • undergraduate education


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