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Updated: October 5, 2023

UNE launches clinical anatomy degree program to train more medical educators, researchers

Anatomy demonstration with skeleton on table. Courtesy / UNE The University of New England plans to introduce a master's degree program in clinical anatomy intended to bolster medical education and facilitate enhanced biomedical research.

Seeking to train more students for careers in medical education and biomedical research, the University of New England will offer a master’s degree program in clinical anatomy.

The initiative comes as UNE prepares to relocate its College of Osteopathic Medicine from Biddeford to Portland, where a new building will also house a larger body donor anatomy lab. 

UNE spokesman Alan Bennett said the new facility will be 15% to 20% larger than the existing facility in Biddeford, which dates back to 1978 when Maine’s only medical school was founded.

With the new master’s program, UNE aims to address a worsening shortage of medical school educators and an estimated shortfall of as many as 124,000 physicians in the United States over the next decade.

“The biomedical science workforce pipeline, including anatomy, is not adequate to meet the current need for faculty nationwide,” said Frank Daly, director of anatomical donation in UNE Biomedical Science Department. He also cautioned that the need for more master's and professional-level anatomy graduates “will only get worse in the coming years.”  

Clinical emphasis

The 24-month degree program is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of human anatomy, emphasizing clinical applications to meet health care professionals’ evolving needs.

UNE plans to start the program next summer with eight students in each class and work up to 10 per class. Enrollment is already open.

Graduate students enrolled in the program will work alongside their peers in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program, guided by medical faculty members.

Along with the degree program, a new yearlong post-baccalaureate certificate in clinical anatomy aims to prepare students for admission into graduate medical or health degree programs and  reinforce understanding of biomedical topics. 

Students on the research track will have the opportunity to participate in biomedical research within a team of UNE faculty, postdoctoral researchers and other students, while their peers on the educational track will gain teaching skills and knowledge from current anatomy faculty and help shape the future of medical education.

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