League of Applied Anatomy (LAA): Multiple Perspectives on Participation in an Academic League

ABSTRACT This article reports on the experience of members of the Academic League of Applied Anatomy, in Portuguese “Liga de Anatomia Aplicada (LAA)” of Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), whether listeners, organizers or advisers. The motivation behind this article consists in the desire to address the importance of academic organizations and their impact on students, considering the recent growth and inauguration of various leagues. The traditional model of education, practiced in the majority of Brazilian, is characterized by a vertical relationship between the teacher and the students. This view partly the creative limitation imposed on the students and on future professionals. Therefore, Academic Leagues are necessary, as a means of improving, students’ critical thinking and solidifying a subject that has already been taught in the curricula but that, due to exhausting schedules and rigid time frames, remains abstract and unappealing to the students, resulting in a lack of motivation and disappointed expectations. The league seeks to meet the demands of recently enrolled students, eager to apply in practice subjects still only seen in theory during the basic cycle of school. However, all the activities need to be well organized if they are to achieve their goals. Teachers must ensure supervision, the league’s board of directors must be well-selected, and the division of tasks must be effective, in order to ensure the engagement of all the participants. All this work, whether for the production of scientific content, planning of lectures, courses or symposia, directly impacts the thought processes of all those involved. Alongside the whole process described, the basis of all this evolution is the teaching, research and extension activities, which complement the learning; develop research, and contribute to the dissemination of academic knowledge and the fulfillment of social duty. This paper shows the impact that a league has on the formation of medical students and on the constant encouragement for teachers to update their skills. Therefore, statements were collected and questionnaires conducted, to confirm the importance of the League for personal and professional growth in various spheres, and show how these extracurricular activities have proven to be beneficial in enabling students and teachers to acquire new experiences.