The Cycle of Anatomical Terminology: Evolution and Involution

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Jorge Eduardo Duque Parra; John Barco Ríos & Álex Enrique Pava Ripoll


The international anatomical terminology consists of a series of specialized terms that have been studied, refined and agreed over time, but current education in its various levels of schooling uses it to later supplant it, and what some base from morphological specialization, other non-experts on the subject, eliminate by imposition, especially at higher education levels in university training. The use of anatomical language is first established in the nuclear family, where children are taught common or vernacular terms, in order that they may communicate to their parents parts of their bodies that hurt, and relate to their environment. This language evolves with the initiation of school life, during which it is perfected, and terminological vocabulary is broadened to its maximum, with the incorporation of the Terminologia Anatomica. This generally occurs during the first few years of university studies, in health faculties. Unfortunately, with the entrance of clinical sciences and the consequent imposition of inappropriate anatomical language, characterized by an abundance of eponyms and obsolete terms, students are confronted with terminological and conceptual chaos, which invariably affects their comprehension and learning. New professionals, irrationally, accept this obsolete language, which they then transmit to their patients and children, perpetuating the error.

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

How to cite this article

DUQUE, P. J. E.; BARCO, R. J. & PAVA, R. A. E. The cycle of anatomical terminology: Evolution and involution. Int. J. Morphol., 39(4):1023-1027, 2021.