A Review from Medical Science Educator from Dr. Melanie Korndorffer

This review is from the September 2020 issue of Medical Science Educator. The article I have chosen is Pascoe, M.A., Betts, K. Use of a Digital, Profession-Specific Dissection Guide Is Associated with Improved Examination Performance and Student Satisfaction. Med.Sci.Educ. 30, 1025–1034 (2020).

As a teacher of gross anatomy, I considered reviewing this article of original research a great opportunity. I enjoyed reading the Use of a Digital, Profession-Specific Dissection Guide Is Associated with Improved Examination Performance and Student Satisfaction by Michael Pascoe and Kourtney Betts. The idea of a profession-specific dissection guide is intriguing, particularly with the decreased amount of time allocated to anatomy both in schools for Allied Health professionals and physicians. Many digital dissectors, most institution-specific, have been evaluated and discussed over the past decade. The profession-specific consideration is unique and surprisingly useful. Perhaps, training medical students more for their eventual specialty may be considered when searching for an efficient education as time and money are more and more limited for training.

The importance of cadaveric based anatomy training for physical therapists is underpinned in this writing as physical therapy practice requires the ability to understand musculoskeletal anatomy and physical skills to manipulate tools and limbs. The consideration of cognitive load during anatomy lab is inciteful and helpful for those of us teaching anatomy. The discussion of retrieval practice on the lab-based content was useful. In combination with the decreased cognitive load, the decreased cognitive load contributed to the overall student assessment scores’ overall improvement and improved student satisfaction. The student feedback on digital dissector is interesting. The students did not care for the videos or the self-study of osteology. The pop-up glossary terms were popular, as were the image galleries and the formative quizzes.

The article is clearly written, technically sound, and well referenced. The limitations of the study are acknowledged may be addressed with further research. Congratulations to the authors on another fine original research paper from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (Aurora, CO, USA)

Thank you for the opportunity to review this intriguing document.

Melanie L. Korndorffer, MD FACS
Director Gross and Developmental Anatomy, Advanced Surgery-Based Anatomy, and
Anatomy Certification and Leadership Program
Co-Vice Chair of Medical Education
Department of Structural and Cellular Biology
Tulane University School of Medicine
Room 3301, Hutchinson Bldg