Danya Stone

Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Lecturer in Anatomy

I am currently employed as a teaching focussed lecturer at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). My journey teaching anatomy began when I applied for a master’s degree course in Human Anatomy and Education at the University of Sheffield in 2017. At this time, I had just completed an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Genetics and therefore had not experienced any anatomy teaching previously. However, I had always had an interest in human anatomy and wanted to dedicate a year to exploring the subject.

During my master’s degree, I learned anatomy through human cadaveric dissection, while concurrently teaching anatomy to undergraduate biomedical science students. Teaching anatomy to undergraduate students while also exploring the scholarship of learning and teaching led me to the realisation that I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and wanted to pursue this as a career. Following my master’s programme, I successfully applied to be an anatomy demonstrator at Trinity College Dublin, therefore moved to Dublin.

After a year at Trinity College Dublin, I was offered the role of anatomy lecturer at BSMS. Since beginning my role at BSMS, I have continued to contribute to the delivery of anatomy teaching across all modules and am subject lead for anatomy of the thorax. Since joining BSMS I have completed a postgraduate medical education course and I am now completing a part-time PhD exploring the emotions that students experience when entering into the human dissection room for the first time.

Before I began studying anatomy, I was unaware of the career opportunities that were possible within this area. For me, this was teaching - a career I never believed I was suited to before being immersed in it. Through teaching, my confidence in public speaking began to grow, and I am now able to stand at the front of a lecture theatre filled with 200 students with very little anxiety. This experience has convinced me that anyone can develop the confidence in public speaking that is required to teach, and I would encourage anyone to experience teaching before deciding it is not for them. I have also discovered that the anatomy community is particularly supportive, and I would encourage others early in their career to make the most of attending conferences and use other networking opportunities getting to know other anatomy academics.