Anatomy Education in an Innovative Medical School Curriculum

  • Jennifer M. McBride
  • Richard L. DrakeEmail author


Curricular reform is causing many directors of anatomy courses to move in new directions and become innovators. During this process it’s important to remember three basic guidelines (match curriculum or philosophy of education of institution; complement the faculty involved in the teaching; fit the type of students that will participate) and five guiding principles (active versus passive learning; time limited so laboratory must be efficient; use a variety of educational experiences; integrate anatomy with clinical medicine; learning should be longitudinal) as the course is redesigned as part of a changing curriculum or designed for a new academic program. This chapter will discuss these components and provide an example of how they are used when designing a new course.


  1. 1.
    Louw G, Eizenberg N, Carmichael SW. The place of anatomy in medical education: AMEE guide no. 41. Med Teach. 2009;31:373–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sugand K, Abrahams P, Khurana A. The anatomy of anatomy. A review for its modernization. Anat Sci Educ. 2010;3:83–93.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Zumwalt AC, Lufler RS, Monteiro J, Shaffer K. Building the body: active learning laboratories that emphasize practical aspects of anatomy and integration with radiology. Anat Sci Educ. 2010;3:134–40.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fleming ND. I’m different; not dumb. Modes of presentation (VARK) in the tertiary classroom. In: Zelmer A, editor. Research and development in higher education: proceedings of the 1995 annual conference of the higher education and research development society of Australasia. HERDSA, vol. 18; 1995. pp. 308−13.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Korf HW, Wicht H, Snipes RL, Timmermans JP, Paulsen F, Rune G, Baumgart-Vogt E. The dissection course – Necessary and indispensable for teaching anatomy to medical students. Ann Anat. 2008;190:16–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Finn GM, McLachlan JC. A qualitative study of student responses to body painting. Anat Sci Educ. 2010;3:33–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lufler RS, Zumwalt AC, Romney CA, Hoagland TM. Incorporating radiology into medical gross anatomy: does the use of cadaver CT scans improve students’ academic performance in anatomy? Anat Sci Educ. 2010;3:56–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pabst R, Westermann J, Lippert H. Integration of clinical problems in teaching gross anatomy: living anatomy, X-ray anatomy, patient presentations, and film depicting clinical problems. Anat Record. 1986;215:92–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rizzolo LJ, Rando WC, O’Brien MK, Haims AH, Abrahams JJ, Stewart WB. Design, implementation, and evaluation of an innovative anatomy course. Anat Sci Educ. 2010;3:109–20.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Custers EJFM. Long-term retention of basic science knowledge: a review study. Adv in Health Sci Educ. 2010;15:109–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Drake RL. A unique, innovative, and clinically oriented approach to anatomy education. Acad Med. 2007;82:475–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

Personalised recommendations