By Athena Karsera
Even if they do not all choose to become surgeons, it is crucial for all medical students to become very familiar with human anatomy.
And, it is in the laboratories of the University of Nicosia Medical School that the majority of our students will have the opportunity to work with human cadavers for the first time.
Contributing to the department since its formation, Head of Medical School Laboratories, Chad Schou, recently revealed more about the laboratories’ day-to-day operation and how this section of the Medical School interacts with its other departments.
As noted by Chad, the Medical School Laboratories team is made up of experts who work well together with the aim of helping and assisting medical students during their sessions in the laboratories.
’The staff are well-trained and I am fully confident in their abilities to work independently,’ he underlined, adding, ’I am always around to help troubleshoot, but we’ve got a great team and we all learn well on the job’
As the programme has been established for some time now, Chad said year-to-year adjustments, as a rule, depended on the volume of students at the time.
During the sessions, student groups remain small and manageable, and the anatomy stations and clinical skills cubicles are set up with resources that emphasise the teaching topics of those sessions. In addition to Anatomy and Clinical Skills the Pathology laboratory carries an excellent collection of histology slides for the students.
The Anatomy Centre
Chad and his team are rightly proud of their anatomy lab with the Head explaining that the Medical School has made a significant investment in the facility by being the only Medical School in Cyprus to use human cadavers and by providing the best models and manikins on the market.
He explained: ’We emphasise small team-teaching, we engage the students and we make sure they can see things clearly’.
A large number of general and plastic surgeons offer their skills and expertise during anatomy sessions.
Clinical Skills Laboratory
During clinical skills sessions teaching is structured in a way that allows medical students to build their clinical knowledge and skills. Students work with realistic models and manikins, as well as both simulated and real patients. At a later stage students examine patients under senior medical supervision at local teaching hospitals and clinics. Chad added: ‘We want to encourage a deep approach to learning. We want to help make this information stay with the student so that they can access it in their future practice’.
The laboratory team has close communication with several departments at the Medical School. This top-notch cooperation between departments ensures smooth exams and successful events.
The Medical School Laboratories play an important role in the Mediterranean region by being the testing centre for the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons of England, with Membership exams usually taking place at the end of October or start of November every year.
Head of Medical School Laboratories
Dr Catherine O’Dowd Phanis
Dr Maria Filipova