Anatomical Terminological Educational Problem in Latin America: the Terminologia Anatomica is International, not National or Regional

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Jorge Eduardo Duque Parra; Bélgica Vásquez & Mariano del Sol


The use of Terminologia Anatomica (TA) in Latin America still remains a serious problem of scientific communication among professionals and students in the healthcare field and related sciences. The use of different terms for the same structure can lead to increased medical errors and jeopardize patient safety and satisfaction. In Latin America the current use of anatomical terminology is an academic dilemma, which translates into communication errors, and a lack of understanding, when different terms are used for the same structure. This is also true when considering texts used in anatomical teaching that have not followed the recommendations of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA). Several attempts have been made to translate the terms from Latin to Spanish, initially from the Nomina Anatomica, and later from the TA, though there were numerous final errors. Scarce knowledge of Latin may be a contributing factor, however, a number of morphologists who participated in these translations, simply did not accept the Latin terminology, insisting instead on the use of well-recognized terms in Spanish, even though these may not be correct. Thus, the objective was to review some texts used in academics in morphological sciences, particularly literature used by students in the healthcare fields. Also, some texts related to anatomical nomenclature and terminology edited by the Spanish Society of Anatomy were reviewed. Another objective is to evaluate comments and reviews of the activities and efforts realized in this area thus far, mainly in the Ibero-Latin American Symposium on Anatomical, Histological and Embryological Terminology (SILAT) in order to finally unify the TA correctly in the Spanish language.

KEY WORDS: Medicine; Terminologia Anatomica; Anatomy; Education.

How to cite this article

DUQUE, P. J. E.; VÁSQUEZ, B. & DEL SOL, M. Anatomical terminological educational problem in Latin America: The Terminologia Anatomica is international, not national or regional. Int. J. Morphol., 36(4):1423-1430, 2018.