Mixed-Method Evaluation of a Cadaver Dissection Course for General Surgery Interns: An Innovative Approach for Filling the Gap Between Gross Anatomy and the Operating Room.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate an innovative whole cadaver dissection curriculum designed to focus on teaching procedure-relevant anatomy and surgical skills to surgery interns. DESIGN: A mixed methods explanatory sequential design incorporating both quantitative and qualitative evaluations was used to evaluate the cadaver dissection course. Quantitative data were prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed in order to compare anatomy knowledge and operative skills before and after the course. In the qualitative phase, open-ended telephone interviews were conducted in order to explore the major strengths and weaknesses of the course and gain a more in-depth understanding of resident perceptions and attitudes toward the course. SETTING: All UCLA categorical surgery interns who have undergone the cadaver dissection curriculum between the years 2010 to 2016 were recruited for evaluation and interview. PARTICIPANTS: From 2010 to 2016, 6 to 7 categorical surgery interns were enrolled in the cadaver dissection course each year. RESULTS: Anatomy practical examination scores increased following implementation of the course from 50.5% to 83.5% (p < 0.01). Faculty ratings of operative skills improved as well (average Likert scale rating for technical skills improved from 4.1 ± 0.4 to 4.4 ± 0.3, p = 0.06). Almost all interviewees (96%) reported that the course improved their knowledge of anatomy, and 78% of respondents believed the course was conducive to improving technical skills. CONCLUSIONS: We believe that cadaver dissection courses offer a superior educational model for teaching clinically relevant anatomy as well as surgical skills. We found improvements in anatomy knowledge and technical skills, and trainees expressed strongly favorable views of the program.
Juo, Y-Y; Hanna, C; Chi, Q; Chang, G; Peacock, WJ; Tillou, A; Lewis, CE
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