This talk offered very interesting insights into the use of artifacts and poems for the teaching in anatomical sciences. Our speaker, Dr Ourania Varsou, highlighted two case studies from her own teaching practice where she used object-based learning as a way to enhance reflection and comprehension in students.


Merging arts and humanities with anatomical sciences can be viewed as part of the medical/health humanities movement providing healthcare students and qualified professionals with an opportunity to develop an insight into human suffering and illness by proxy (Varsou, 2020a). In this talk, I will discuss two cases that I have been using, in online learning and physical on-campus settings, that showcase the amalgamation of these fields. The first case explores the role of anatomically-related visual imagery within the context of modern research and teaching (Varsou, 2023), whereas the second case focuses on how poetry can be used as a means of promoting reflection (Varsou, 2020b). Both cases are framed around the theory of object-based learning and grounded on the pedagogical paradigm of humanism. Active exploration of arts and humanities, including written poetry, in the context of anatomical sciences has the potential to stimulate rich multidisciplinary discussions, better insight into challenging topics and self-reflection (Varsou, 2023).



About the speaker

Dr Ourania Varsou (she/her) is a medically-qualified anatomist, with a PhD in neuroscience, currently working at the University of Glasgow. She teaches anatomy to science, medical and dental students, from sub-honours to honours levels, with her specialist areas including the head and neck region and imaging. Ourania also teaches scientific skills, including statistics for biosciences, and delivers bespoke teaching on medical/health humanities at the University of Glasgow and, as an invited external faculty member, at several international institutions. Ourania’s research includes imaging, clinically-applied anatomy and scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). She is also a strong advocate of medical/health humanities, writing her own poetry, and is passionate about sustainability and alternative approaches to teaching in Higher Education.