Many medical schools have undergone curricula revisions and attempted to integrate basic and clinical sciences. In 2012, our program at the University of Florida College of Medicine underwent significant curricular reform, transitioning from the standard medical curriculum to a systems-based approach. The teaching of anatomy, clinical skills, radiology, ethics, population health, human behavior, and evidence-based medicine was integrated into one class, “Introduction to Clinical Medicine”,which spans 68 weeks in the pre-clerk- ship curriculum. As a result, there was a reduction of anatomy teaching from 166 to 120 hours. Our curriculum integration demonstrates opportunities for enhanced teaching including increasing peer learning, incorporatingmultidisciplinary case presentations, and allowing for a deliberate overlap and layering of anatomy education across two years of medical school. This paper describes our reflection on the effect of the curriculum change on student learning. Five years after implementation of these changes shows that our efforts also illustrate the challenges inherent to curricular integration including scheduling constraints, unclear sources of financial support, apprehension about the effect on future National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) scores, and difficulty assessing which areas a student needs to remediate within a failed integrated course. Overall, the integration of anatomy with other classes into a revised course at our College of Medicine has been well received and successful.
Bolender, D., Ettarh, R., Jerrett, D., & Laherty, R. (2013). Curricular Integration = Course Disintegration: What Does This Mean for Anatomy? Anatomical Sciences Education, 6, 205-208. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1320
Brinke, B., Klitsie, P., Timman, R., Busschbach, J., Lange, J., & Kleinrensink, G. (2014). Anatomy Education and Classroom versus Laparoscopic Dissection-Based Training: A Randomized Study at One Medical School. Academic Medicine, 89, 806-810.
Brown, B., Adhikari, S., Marx, J., Lander, L., & Todd, G. (2012). Introduction of Ultrasound into Gross Anatomy Curriculum: Perceptions of Medical Students. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 43, 1098-1102.
Drake, R. (2014). A Retrospective and Prospective Look at Medical Education in the United States: Trends Shaping Anatomical Sciences Education. Journal of Anatomy, 224, 256-260. https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.12054
Halliday, N., O’Donoghue, D., Klump, K., & Thompson, B. (2015). Human Structure in Six and One-Half Weeks: One Approach to Providing Foundational Anatomical Competency in an Era of Compressed Medical School Anatomy Curricula. Anatomical Sciences Education, 8, 149-157. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1476
Jones, T. (2013). Creating a Longitudinal Environment of Awareness: Teaching Professionalism outside the Anatomy Laboratory. Academic Medicine, 88, 304-308.
Kulasegaram, K., Martimianakis, M., Mylopoulos, M., Whitehead, C., & Woods, N. (2013). Cognition before Curriculum: Rethinking Integration of Basic Science and Clinical Learning. Academic Medicine, 88, 1578-1585.
McKeown, P., Heylings, D., Stevenson, M., McKelvey, K., Nixon, J., & McCluskey, D. (2003). The Impact of Curricular Change on Medical Students’ Knowledge of Anatomy. Medical Education, 37, 954-961. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2923.2003.01670.x