STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE AND CURRICULAR RESTRUCTURING IN ANATOMY

O. Arslan

University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine (UNITED STATES)
Prpose:
This study addresses the efficacy and practicality of a system-based anatomy teaching module and its impact on student performance.

Methods:
Anatomy presentations are sequenced in an integrated manner with pertinent topics in other preclerkship disciplines, and are reinforced by clinical presentations and series of active learning sessions. All presentations are video archived and posted on blackboard for students’ review. The laboratory component includes cadaver dissection, computer-Based Learning Activity (CBLA), procedures and ultrasound sessions. Students are presented with a brief pre-laboratory demonstration for each laboratory session which is videoarchived and posted on blackboard. CBLA encompasses self directed learning of sectional anatomy, dissection videos and computer-based quizzes. To facilitate active learning and accommodate the large number of students, the first year class is divided into two teams; a dissecting and a non-dissecting that alternates for each laboratory session.

Results:
No statistically significant changes were observed in students’ performance when compared to other basic science disciplines. A consistent upward shift in USMLE Step I scores for the cohort students following this curricular change has been observed. A positive trend in students’ assessment of the course as well as the curricular design were achieved. As a result anatomy discipline rating maintained an edge over other first year basic science courses.

Conclusion:
We have been able to demonstrate that a successful curricular shift and as a result students’ long-term retention can be enhanced . We believe this positive upward trend in students' perception of the changed curriculum is enhanced by learners’ understanding of anatomical structures as a a single unit without the distraction imposed by adjacent structures that belong to different functional systems. We believe the spaced repetition in this curriculum reinforces learners' knowldge of the mechanisms that underlie disease processes.