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On the importance of integrating comparative anatomy and One Health perspectives in anatomy education

Bhattacharjee, Sourav; Davies, D Ceri; Mcgonnell, Imelda M; Holmes, Jonathan M; Kilroy, David; Holland, Jane C; Reynolds, Alison L


Sourav Bhattacharjee

D Ceri Davies

Imelda M Mcgonnell

Jonathan M Holmes

David Kilroy

Jane C Holland

Alison L Reynolds


As a result of many factors, including climate change, unrestricted population growth, widespread deforestation and intensive agriculture, a new pattern of diseases in humans is emerging. With increasing encroachment by human societies into wild domains, the interfaces between human and animal ecosystems are gradually eroding. Such changes have led to zoonoses, vector-borne diseases, infectious diseases and, most importantly, the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant microbial strains as challenges for human health. Now would seem to be an opportune time to revisit old concepts of health and redefine some of these in the light of emerging challenges. The One Health concept addresses some of the demands of modern medical education by providing a holistic approach to explaining diseases that result from a complex set of interactions between humans, environment and animals, rather than just an amalgamation of isolated signs and symptoms. An added advantage is that the scope of One Health concepts has now expanded to include genetic diseases due to advancements in omics technology. Inspired by such ideas, a symposium was organised as part of the 19th International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA) Congress (August 2019) to investigate the scope of One Health concepts and comparative anatomy in contemporary medical education. Speakers with expertise in both human and veterinary anatomy participated in the symposium and provided examples where these two disciplines, which have so far evolved largely independent of each other, can collaborate for mutual benefit. Finally, the speakers identified some key concepts of One Health that should be prioritised and discussed the diverse opportunities available to integrate these priorities into a broader perspective that would attempt to explain and manage diseases within the scopes of human and veterinary medicine.


Bhattacharjee, S., Davies, D. C., Mcgonnell, I. M., Holmes, J. M., Kilroy, D., Holland, J. C., & Reynolds, A. L. (2022). On the importance of integrating comparative anatomy and One Health perspectives in anatomy education. Journal of Anatomy, 240(3), 429-446.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 5, 2021
Online Publication Date Oct 24, 2021
Publication Date Mar 15, 2022
Deposit Date Apr 14, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 13, 2022
Journal Journal of Anatomy
Print ISSN 0021-8782
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 240
Issue 3
Pages 429-446
Keywords One Health; anatomy education; animal models; antimicrobial resistance; biopsychosocial model; comparative anatomy; integration in medical education; pandemic; zoonoses.
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