Essential anatomy for core clerkships: A clinical perspective


Sarah A. Keim, University of Kansas Medical Center
Derek J. Harmon, The Ohio State University College of Medicine
James R. Martindale, University of Virginia School of Medicine
Elisabeth N. Lopez, NYU College of Dentistry
Charles Sanky, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
William S. Brooks, Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology
Meghan M. Cotter, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
David L. Davies, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Majid Doroudi, The University of British Columbia
Jeffrey C. Fahl, Albany Medical College
Anna Farias, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Guinevere Granite, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Kelly M. Harrell, VCU School of Medicine
Rekha Kar, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Kenneth L. Kramer, Creighton University
Jon Jackson, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
Shiloh Jones, Oregon Health & Science University
Wendy Lackey-Cornelison, College of Medicine and Life Sciences
Jeffrey T. Laitman, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Kimberly Latacha, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Steven R. Lewis, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Amy Lovejoy Mork, Morehouse School of Medicine
Hassan Marzban, University of Manitoba
Thomas G. McNary, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
David L. McWhorter, Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
Aftab Merchant, University of Illinois College of Medicine
Jason C. Mussell, LSU Health Sciences Center - New OrleansFollow
Melissa M. Quinn, The Ohio State University College of Medicine

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Anatomical Sciences Education


Clerkships are defining experiences for medical students in which students integrate basic science knowledge with clinical information as they gain experience in diagnosing and treating patients in a variety of clinical settings. Among the basic sciences, there is broad agreement that anatomy is foundational for medical practice. Unfortunately, there are longstanding concerns that student knowledge of anatomy is below the expectations of clerkship directors and clinical faculty. Most allopathic medical schools require eight “core” clerkships: internal medicine (IM), pediatrics (PD), general surgery (GS), obstetrics and gynecology (OB), psychiatry (PS), family medicine (FM), neurology (NU), and emergency medicine (EM). A targeted needs assessment was conducted to determine the anatomy considered important for each core clerkship based on the perspective of clinicians teaching in those clerkships. A total of 525 clinical faculty were surveyed at 24 United States allopathic medical schools. Participants rated 97 anatomical structure groups across all body regions on a 1–4 Likert-type scale (1 = not important, 4 = essential). Non-parametric ANOVAs determined if differences existed between clerkships. Combining all responses, 91% of anatomical structure groups were classified as essential or more important. Clinicians in FM, EM, and GS rated anatomical structures in most body regions significantly higher than at least one other clerkship (p = 0.006). This study provides an evidence-base of anatomy content that should be considered important for each core clerkship and may assist in the development and/or revision of preclinical curricula to support the clinical training of medical students.

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