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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

The National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition 2013

Published: 27 August 2013

A group of medical students, in collaboration with the Southampton Neuroscience Group and the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, have organised the first National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition. Students travelled from across the country including Liverpool, Exeter, London and Cardiff to partake in the event. Preclinical and clinical categories were available for students to enter and the event sold out within three weeks of being advertised.

Two fourth year medical students, with assistance from anatomy lecturers and technicians, compiled a highly praised "spotter" examination, which involved them dissecting their own specimens, employing specialist techniques. The multiple choice question examination was written with the aid of several consultant neurosurgeons and included a broad range of questions designed to stretch entrants with exceptional neuroanatomy comprehension.

Following the examinations we were fortunate enough to have guest lectures from two world-renowned clinicians. Dr. Ashwin Pinto directly related neuroanatomy to clinical symptoms in his presentation "Location, Location, Location". Mr. Ludvic Zrinzo, a neurosurgeon at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, then inspired students to broaden their neuroanatomical horizons by considering the history of functional neurosurgery, including transorbital lobotomies in the mid 20th century, to modern day techniques of functional neurosurgery. Both speakers interacted with delegates and encouraged discussion on the clinical importance of neuroanatomy.

The event took over a year of planning by a committee who ranged from senior anatomy lecturers to fourth year medical students. Following the success of this event the committee has already commenced preparations for next year's competition.

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