Anatomy is a core branch of medicine, especially surgery because the surgeon must have an excellent knowledge of the human body to be able to carry out surgical operations.
An anatomist is a medical scientist who carries out research on human biological structures. The job of an anatomist is to advance the field of medicine through their discoveries.
In Nigeria Anatomy as a course is studied in National University Commission (NUC) Accredited universities and not in polytechnic or colleges of education.
Anatomy is a four-year course after which you will be awarded a BSc certificate in Human Anatomy.
Skills of an Anatomist?
An Anatomist must possess a few skills like
- Paying attention to detail and having good observation skills.
- Fascination with the structure of humans, animals, and plants to be able to enjoy being one.
- Being able to work meticulously with fine details
- Having the ability to integrate data from many sources and test hypotheses rigorously
- Having an open and inquiring mind.
- Having good oral and written communication skills
- Should enjoy synthesizing information, analyzing data, developing models, and finding innovative solutions to problems
How to become an anatomist
Anatomists who wish to conduct research go on to graduate and postgraduate training. Many anatomists train as physicians and then specialize in anatomy.
Here is a more detailed step to becoming an anatomist.
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree
A bachelor’s degree is the first step in becoming an anatomist. Anatomists must have a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in anatomy, physiology, or a related biological discipline such as histology.
2. Complete a graduate degree
An anatomist can earn a medical degree or a doctoral degree. Any of the two options can help qualify you for a career in the field.
A doctoral program can take four to seven years and this is dependent on the program. The medical degree prepares you to work in hospitals, with patients, and with medical doctors in cases.
As part of medical school, you complete a residency that gives you the opportunity to acquire real-world experience.
3. Finish post-doctoral training
If you complete a doctoral program, you can complete a fellowship program. Post-doctoral training can help you build your knowledge base and provide you with valuable experience.
Usually, universities offer fellowships, allowing you to teach while completing the fellowship. Completing a fellowship can make you more appealing to potential employers and allow you to pursue research with peers.
4. Attain certification
Although certification requirements might vary by state, you can complete national certification processes. Another licensing option to consider is the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination.
5. Publish research
Completing research projects and publishing your findings can help you build a reputation within the field.
Research can teach you and help others in the field learn, too. Many anatomist positions involve a level of research and lab work.
Showing you can complete studies and have them published can demonstrate to potential employers that you have a desirable skill set.
Where can an anatomist work in Nigeria?
An Anatomist can work in the following areas:
- Anatomists are generally employed in the healthcare sector while working on their research work.
2 They may work in college laboratories or medical centers or universities. They usually teach and carry out research. They help train scientists, as well as medical doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and other workers in the health field.
- Many anatomists carry out their research while teaching.
- Some of them train scientists or doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, or other health care professionals.
- Some anatomists work in government agencies or scientific publishing firms.
- There is also job scope for anatomists in private companies that manufacture artificial limbs or organs – Prosthetic companies.
- An Anatomist works hand in hand with surgeons, physiotherapists, and other health care providers.
- There will be more frontiers for anatomy graduates as the world advances.
Anatomists work in a consumer science setting, a clinical environment, or academia. You need a doctorate in medicine, anatomy, or biological sciences to pursue a career as an anatomist.
You must be a board-certified physician to work in clinical settings, and you need experience teaching and preparing curricula to teach and conduct research in a university setting.
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