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A Five-Year Review of Enhanced Learning through Integration: Anatomy and Clinical Practice

DOI: 10.4236/ce.2017.811121, PP. 1774-1781

Keywords: Anatomy, Curriculum, Integration

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Abstract:

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, incorporating multidisciplinary 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.

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