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1.  Arthroscopy or ultrasound in undergraduate anatomy education: a randomized cross-over controlled trial 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:85.
The exponential growth of image-based diagnostic and minimally invasive interventions requires a detailed three-dimensional anatomical knowledge and increases the demand towards the undergraduate anatomical curriculum. This randomized controlled trial investigates whether musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) or arthroscopic methods can increase the anatomical knowledge uptake.
Second-year medical students were randomly allocated to three groups. In addition to the compulsory dissection course, the ultrasound group (MSUS) was taught by eight, didactically and professionally trained, experienced student-teachers and the arthroscopy group (ASK) was taught by eight experienced physicians. The control group (CON) acquired the anatomical knowledge only via the dissection course. Exposure (MSUS and ASK) took place in two separate lessons (75 minutes each, shoulder and knee joint) and introduced standard scan planes using a 10-MHz ultrasound system as well as arthroscopy tutorials at a simulator combined with video tutorials. The theoretical anatomic learning outcomes were tested using a multiple-choice questionnaire (MCQ), and after cross-over an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Differences in student’s perceptions were evaluated using Likert scale-based items.
The ASK-group (n = 70, age 23.4 (20–36) yrs.) performed moderately better in the anatomical MC exam in comparison to the MSUS-group (n = 84, age 24.2 (20–53) yrs.) and the CON-group (n = 88, 22.8 (20–33) yrs.; p = 0.019). After an additional arthroscopy teaching 1% of students failed the MC exam, in contrast to 10% in the MSUS- or CON-group, respectively. The benefit of the ASK module was limited to the shoulder area (p < 0.001). The final examination (OSCE) showed no significant differences between any of the groups with good overall performances. In the evaluation, the students certified the arthroscopic tutorial a greater advantage concerning anatomical skills with higher spatial imagination in comparison to the ultrasound tutorial (p = 0.002; p < 0.001).
The additional implementation of arthroscopy tutorials to the dissection course during the undergraduate anatomy training is profitable and attractive to students with respect to complex joint anatomy. Simultaneous teaching of basic-skills in musculoskeletal ultrasound should be performed by medical experts, but seems to be inferior to the arthroscopic 2D-3D-transformation, and is regarded by students as more difficult to learn. Although arthroscopy and ultrasound teaching do not have a major effect on learning joint anatomy, they have the potency to raise the interest in surgery.
PMCID: PMC3473305  PMID: 22958784
Arthroscopy; Education, Anatomic competence, Randomized controlled trial, Knee joint, Shoulder joint, Students; Medical, Musculoskeletal ultrasound
2.  Laparoscopic Surgery Recording as an Adjunct to Conventional Modalities of Teaching Gross Anatomy 
In order to increase their effectiveness, methods of teaching morphological sciences need to be revised to incorporate the recent technological advances made in the field of medicine. Teaching human structure with conventional methods of prosections using dissected cadaveric specimen alone quite often fails to prepare students adequately for their clinical training. A learner-oriented method, incorporating three dimensional spatial anatomy and more closely mirroring the clinical setting, is required.
With these challenges in mind, a 30-minute slow-paced video recording of a cholecystectomy performed laproscopically on a 45 year-old lady was adapted to supplement the conventional teaching of anatomy of the abdomen and pelvis. This study was carried out in October 2010.
The subjects of this study were 84 students in a first year preclinical MD course in human structure at the private Oman Medical College. Their feedback was obtained via questionnaire and revealed that the video presentation helped the students to realise the significance of the anatomical details learnt during the human structure course.
Recordings of laparoscopic surgeries are an effective preclinical anatomy teaching resource in student-centred learning. They also help the students to appreciate the clinical relevance of gross anatomy and enhance their motivation to learn.
PMCID: PMC3206753  PMID: 22087399
Laparoscopic surgery recordings; Video recording; Abdominal cavity; Medical education
3.  Use of online clinical videos for clinical skills training for medical students: benefits and challenges 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:56.
Multimedia learning has been shown effective in clinical skills training. Yet, use of technology presents both opportunities and challenges to learners. The present study investigated student use and perceptions of online clinical videos for learning clinical skills and in preparing for OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination). This study aims to inform us how to make more effective us of these resources.
A mixed-methods study was conducted for this study. A 30-items questionnaire was administered to investigate student use and perceptions of OSCE videos. Year 3 and 4 students from 34 Korean medical schools who had access to OSCE videos participated in the online survey. Additionally, a semi-structured interview of a group of Year 3 medical students was conducted for an in-depth understanding of student experience with OSCE videos.
411 students from 31 medical schools returned the questionnaires; a majority of them found OSCE videos effective for their learning of clinical skills and in preparing for OSCE. The number of OSCE videos that the students viewed was moderately associated with their self-efficacy and preparedness for OSCE (p < 0.05). One-thirds of those surveyed accessed the video clips using mobile devices; they agreed more with the statement that it was convenient to access the video clips than their peers who accessed the videos using computers (p < 0.05). Still, students reported lack of integration into the curriculum and lack of interaction as barriers to more effective use of OSCE videos.
The present study confirms the overall positive impact of OSCE videos on student learning of clinical skills. Having faculty integrate these learning resources into their teaching, integrating interactive tools into this e-learning environment to foster interactions, and using mobile devices for convenient access are recommended to help students make more effective use of these resources.
PMCID: PMC3994418  PMID: 24650290
4.  Anatomy teaching with portable ultrasound to medical students 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:99.
Medical students as future clinicians will apply their anatomy knowledge in medical imaging. There are various radiological resources available for the medical students to learn anatomy and contextualise it to the clinical setting. Ultrasound is a safe and non- invasive imaging procedure commonly used in clinical practice. This study aimed to use portable ultrasound and evaluate its impact as an adjunct to cadaveric anatomy teaching together with cross sectional anatomy images and line diagrams.
Ultrasound teaching was incorporated into upper limb and lower limb anatomy practical dissecting room sessions. The number of medical students who participated was 121 students from the year 2008 - 2009 and 94 students from the year 2009- 2010. The students were divided into groups of 15-20. Initially ultrasound demonstration was carried out on a volunteer and then the students were given the opportunity to use the ultrasound and identify normal anatomical structures visualized on images. For the students in the year 2009- 2010, ultrasound teaching was supplemented with cross sectional anatomy images and line diagrams. Questionnaires were distributed with seven questions rated using four point Likert scale and free text. Qualitative data was analysed using 2- proportion Z test and Fischer's exact test.
The number of students in the 2009-2010 year group who were confident in interpreting ultrasound images increased significantly when compared to the 2008-2009 year group of students. The majority of students were able to identify structures like bone, muscles and blood vessels on ultrasound images. There was a significant increase in the number of students who found the ultrasound teaching useful and also those who regarded ultrasound to have improved understanding of anatomy considerably.
Ultrasound acts as a useful adjunct to teach anatomy in a clinical context to medical students. The use of cross sectional anatomy images and line diagrams together can aid ultrasound image orientation of structures during these sessions. Early exposure to this imaging technology may prime students for later encounters with ultrasound during clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3507803  PMID: 23088725
5.  Students’ perceptions of anatomy across the undergraduate problem-based learning medical curriculum: a phenomenographical study 
BMC Medical Education  2013;13:152.
To get insight in how theoretical knowledge is transformed into clinical skills, important information may arise from mapping the development of anatomical knowledge during the undergraduate medical curriculum. If we want to gain a better understanding of teaching and learning in anatomy, it may be pertinent to move beyond the question of how and consider also the what, why and when of anatomy education.
A purposive sample of 78 medical students from the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th year of a PBL curriculum participated in 4 focus groups. Each group came together twice, and all meetings were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed with template analysis using a phenomenographical approach.
Five major topics emerged and are described covering the students’ perceptions on their anatomy education and anatomical knowledge: 1) motivation to study anatomy, 2) the relevance of anatomical knowledge, 3) assessment of anatomical knowledge, 4) students’ (in)security about their anatomical knowledge and 5) the use of anatomical knowledge in clinical practice.
Results indicated that a PBL approach in itself was not enough to ensure adequate learning of anatomy, and support the hypothesis that educational principles like time-on-task and repetition, have a stronger impact on students’ perceived and actual anatomical knowledge than the educational approach underpinning a curriculum. For example, students state that repetitive studying of the subject increases retention of knowledge to a greater extent than stricter assessment, and teaching in context enhances motivation and transfer. Innovations in teaching and assessment, like spiral curriculum, teaching in context, teaching for transfer and assessment for learning (rewarding understanding and higher order cognitive skills), are required to improve anatomy education.
PMCID: PMC4225514  PMID: 24252155
Anatomy; Basic sciences; Curriculum; Education; Knowledge; Learning; Problem based learning
6.  Ready for the OR? – Clinical anatomy and basic surgical skills for students in their preclinical education 
Medical students’ first experience in the operating theatre often takes place during their electives and is therefore separated from the university’s medical curriculum. In the winter term 2009/10, the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Ulm implemented an elective called “Ready for the OR” for 2nd year medical students participating in the dissection course. We attempted to improve learning motivation and examination results by transferring anatomical knowledge into a surgical setting and teaching basic surgical skills in preparation of the students’ first participation in the OR. Out of 69 online applicants, 50 students were randomly assigned to the Intervention Group (FOP) or the Control Group. In 5 teaching session students learned skills like scrubbing, stitching or the identification of frequently used surgical instruments. Furthermore, students visited five surgical interventions which were demonstrated by surgical colleagues on donated bodies that have been embalmed using the Thiel technique. The teaching sessions took place in the institute’s newly built “Theatrum Anatomicum” for an ideal simulation of a surgical setting. The learning outcomes were verified by OSPE. In a pilot study, an intervention group and a control group were compared concerning their examination results in the dissection course and their learning motivation through standardized SELLMO-test for students. Participants gained OSPE results between 60.5 and 92% of the maximum score. “Ready for the OR” was successfully implemented and judged an excellent add-on to anatomy teaching by the participants. However, we could not prove a significant difference in learning motivation or examination results. Future studies should focus on the learning orientation, the course’s long-term learning effects and the participants’ behavior in a real surgery setting.
PMCID: PMC3159200  PMID: 21866247
anatomy; teaching; basic surgical skills; motivation; examination results
7.  e-Teaching in pediatric cardiology: A paradigm shift 
Training of postgraduate students has traditionally been done in person in a hospital setting with hands-on training with each faculty member imparting knowledge to 2 to 4 students per year. Supplementing their practical education with online instruction could make a significant difference in standardizing pediatric cardiology education in India.
To present the rationale, methods and survey results of a live e-Teaching methodology implemented for Pediatric cardiology trainees in association with the National Board of Examinations, India.
Materials and Methods:
Between March 2010 and March 2014, 310 e-classes were conducted in the Pediatric cardiac sciences by 24 e-teachers. Content of the e-Learning program was based on a 2-year pediatric cardiology curriculum and included twice-weekly live online video training sessions, a library of recorded sessions and online test quizzes for the students. A total of 231 students accessed the program at various times over the 4-year period.
In our study, requests for access to the e-lectures increased from 10/year the first year to 100/year by the fourth year with feedback surveys conveying a high satisfaction level from the students and a high need for this knowledge. The advantages of virtual live e-Learning included the fact that one teacher can teach multiple students in multiple geographic locations at the same time, obviating the issue of quality teacher shortage and the same content can be disseminated to all students undergoing specialist training so there is a national consensus on diagnostic and management approach among all trainees. Additionally, the e-classes can be recorded and replayed so they can be viewed repeatedly by the same group or new trainees.
This is the first sustained use of e-Teaching in a medical super-specialty in India. We believe that e-Teaching is an innovative solution that can be applied, not just to Pediatric Cardiology as we have done, but to all branches of specialist and super-specialist medical training in India and globally.
PMCID: PMC4322394
e-Learning; e-teaching; pediatric cardiology
8.  Simultaneous anatomical sketching as learning by doing method of teaching human anatomy 
Learning by lecture is a passive experience. Many innovative techniques have been presented to stimulate students to assume a more active attitude toward learning. In this study, simultaneous sketch drawing, as an interactive learning technique was applied to teach anatomy to the medical students.
Materials and Methods:
We reconstructed a fun interactive model of teaching anatomy as simultaneous anatomic sketching. To test the model's instruction effectiveness, we conducted a quasi- experimental study and then the students were asked to write their learning experiences in their portfolio, also their view was evaluated by a questionnaire.
The results of portfolio evaluation revealed that students believed that this method leads to deep learning and understanding anatomical subjects better. Evaluation of the students’ views on this teaching approach was showed that, more than 80% of the students were agreed or completely agreed with this statement that leaning anatomy concepts are easier and the class is less boring with this method. More than 60% of the students were agreed or completely agreed to sketch anatomical figures with professor simultaneously. They also found the sketching make anatomy more attractive and it reduced the time for learning anatomy. These number of students were agree or completely agree that the method help them learning anatomical concept in anatomy laboratory. More than 80% of the students found the simultaneous sketching is a good method for learning anatomy overall.
Sketch drawing, as an interactive learning technique, is an attractive for students to learn anatomy.
PMCID: PMC4089145  PMID: 25013843
Active learning; anatomy; sketch; teaching
9.  Is a Team-based Learning Approach to Anatomy Teaching Superior to Didactic Lecturing? 
Team-based learning (TBL) is used in the medical field to implement interactive learning in small groups. The learning of anatomy and its subsequent application requires the students to recall a great deal of factual content. The aims of this study were to evaluate the students’ satisfaction, engagement and knowledge gain in anatomy through the medium of TBL in comparison to the traditional lecture method.
This study, carried out from February to June 2012, included 30 physical therapy students of the Shiraz University of Medical Science, School of Rehabilitation Sciences. Classic TBL techniques were modified to cover lower limb anatomy topics in the first year of the physical therapy curriculum. Anatomy lectures were replaced with TBL, which required the preparation of assigned content, specific discussion topics, an individual self-assessment test (IRAT) and the analysis of discussion topics. The teams then subsequently retook the assessment test as a group (GRAT). The first eight weeks of the curriculum were taught using traditional didactic lecturing, while during the second eight weeks the modified TBL method was used. The students evaluated these sessions through a questionnaire. The impact of TBL on student engagement and educational achievement was determined using numerical data, including the IRAT, GRAT and final examination scores.
Students had a higher satisfaction rate with the TBL teaching according to the Likert scale. Additionally, higher scores were obtained in the TBL-based final examination in comparison to the lecture-based midterm exam.
The students’ responses showed that the TBL technique could be used alone or in conjunction with traditional didactic lecturing in order to teach anatomy more effectively.
PMCID: PMC3916264  PMID: 24516741
Learning; Anatomy; Physical Therapy Specialty; Education; Curriculum
10.  Medical student case presentation performance and perception when using mobile learning technology in the emergency department 
Medical Education Online  2011;16:10.3402/meo.v16i0.7327.
Hand-held mobile learning technology provides opportunities for clinically relevant self-instructional modules to augment traditional bedside teaching. Using this technology as a teaching tool has not been well studied. We sought to evaluate medical students’ case presentation performance and perception when viewing short, just-in-time mobile learning videos using the iPod touch prior to patient encounters.
Twenty-two fourth-year medical students were randomized to receive or not to receive instruction by video, using the iPod Touch, prior to patient encounters. After seeing a patient, they presented the case to their faculty, who completed a standard data collection sheet. Students were surveyed on their perceived confidence and effectiveness after using these videos.
Twenty-two students completed a total of 67 patient encounters. There was a statistically significant improvement in presentations when the videos were viewed for the first time (p=0.032). There was no difference when the presentations were summed for the entire rotation (p=0.671). The reliable (alpha=0.97) survey indicated that the videos were a useful teaching tool and gave students more confidence in their presentations.
Medical student patient presentations were improved with the use of mobile instructional videos following first time use, suggesting mobile learning videos may be useful in medical student education. If direct bedside teaching is unavailable, just-in-time iPod touch videos can be an alternative instructional strategy to improve first-time patient presentations by medical students.
PMCID: PMC3195427  PMID: 22013378
mobile technology; iPod touch; just-in-time learning; medical students; case presentations; bedside teaching; acutely ill patient; educational videos
11.  Temporal Structure of First-year Courses and Success at Course Exams: Comparison of Traditional Continual and Block Delivery of Anatomy and Chemistry Courses 
Croatian Medical Journal  2009;50(1):61-68.
To evaluate students’ academic success at the Anatomy and Chemistry courses delivered in a traditional continual course, spread over the two semesters, or in alternating course blocks, in which 1 group of students attended first the Anatomy and then the Chemistry course and vice versa.
We analyzed the data on exam grades for Anatomy and Chemistry courses in the first year of the curriculum for academic year 2001/02, with the traditional continual delivery of the courses (n = 253 for chemistry and n = 243 for anatomy course), and academic year 2003/04, with block delivery of the courses (n = 255 for chemistry and n = 260 for anatomy course). The content of the courses and the teachers were similar in both academic years. Grades from the final examination were analyzed only for students who sat the exam at the first available exam term and passed the course. For the Anatomy block course, grades at 2 interim written tests and 2 parts of the final exam (practical stage exam and oral exam) in each block were analyzed for students who passed all interim tests and the final exam.
There were no differences between the two types of course delivery in the number of students passing the final examination at first attempt. There was a decrease in passing percentage for the two Anatomy block course student groups in 2003/04 (56% passing students in block 1 vs 40% in block 2, P = 0.014). There were no differences in the final examination grade between the 2 blocks for both the Anatomy and Chemistry course, but there was an increase in the average grades from 2001/02 to 2003/04 academic year due to an increase in Chemistry grades (F1,399 = 18.4, P < 0.001, 2 × 2 ANOVA). Grades in Chemistry were significantly lower than grades in Anatomy when courses were delivered in a continual but not in a block format (F1,399 = 35.1, P < 0.001, 2 × 2 ANOVA). When both courses were delivered in a block format there was no effect of the sequence of their delivery (F1,206 = 1.8, P = 0.182, 2 × 2 ANOVA). There was also a significant difference in grades on interim assessments of Anatomy when it was delivered in the block format (F3,85 = 28.8, P < 0.001, between-within subjects 2 × 4 ANOVA) with grades from practical test and oral exam being significantly lower than grades on 2 interim tests that came at the beginning of the block (P < 0.001 for all pair-wise comparisons).
The type of course delivery was not associated with significant differences in student academic success in Anatomy and Chemistry courses in the medical curriculum. Students can successfully pass these courses when they are delivered either in a continual, whole year format or in a condensed time format of a course block, regardless of the number and type of courses preceding the block course.
PMCID: PMC2657569  PMID: 19260146
12.  Lecture Classes in Human Anatomy: The Students’ Perceptions 
Introduction: The human anatomy, or in brief, the body structure has fascinated man for ages. Due to the information explosion and the increase in specializations, this knowledge is available in a very sketchy manner in high school biology courses. The first comprehensive course on the human anatomy is taught to the first year medical students in medical colleges. This is in keeping with the regulations of the Medical Council of India. The anatomy lecture classes occupy a considerable time of the course, to provide the students with an effective knowledge of the gross anatomy, histology, embryology and the clinical anatomy. On the other hand, the students’ feedback regarding the lecture methods and the teaching environment is crucial in judging the efficacy of the present curriculum.
Objective: To obtain the students’ feedback about the environment of the lecture classes, as regards the venue, the teaching and learning aids which are used, the lecture class schedule of the university (the number of classes per week, the durations of the lecture classes, etc.) and the existing departmental practices (display of the class routine in advance, synchronization between the lecture and the practical classes), so that their suggestions could help the faculty in planning the most effective teaching procedures.
Methods: A semi structured questionnaire was supplied to the students to get their feedback.
Result: Most of the students found the air conditioned seminar room’s environment to be more comfortable and they supported the existing durations of the lecture hours with the combined use of chalk and a board and overhead projectors (OHPs).
Conclusion: The perceptions of the learners helped in modifying the departmental practice in the desired way.
PMCID: PMC3708206  PMID: 23905111
Students feedback; Undergraduate medical education; Anatomy lecture class; Lecture hall environment
13.  Virtual Patients in Primary Care: Developing a Reusable Model That Fosters Reflective Practice and Clinical Reasoning 
Primary care is an integral part of the medical curriculum at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. It is present at every stage of the students’ education. Virtual patients (VPs) may support learning processes and be a valuable complement in teaching communication skills, patient-centeredness, clinical reasoning, and reflective thinking. Current literature on virtual patients lacks reports on how to design and use virtual patients with a primary care perspective.
The objective of this study was to create a model for a virtual patient in primary care that facilitates medical students’ reflective practice and clinical reasoning. The main research question was how to design a virtual patient model with embedded process skills suitable for primary care education.
The VP model was developed using the Open Tufts University Sciences Knowledgebase (OpenTUSK) virtual patient system as a prototyping tool. Both the VP model and the case created using the developed model were validated by a group of 10 experienced primary care physicians and then further improved by a work group of faculty involved in the medical program. The students’ opinions on the VP were investigated through focus group interviews with 14 students and the results analyzed using content analysis.
The VP primary care model was based on a patient-centered model of consultation modified according to the Calgary-Cambridge Guides, and the learning outcomes of the study program in medicine were taken into account. The VP primary care model is based on Kolb’s learning theories and consists of several learning cycles. Each learning cycle includes a didactic inventory and then provides the student with a concrete experience (video, pictures, and other material) and preformulated feedback. The students’ learning process was visualized by requiring the students to expose their clinical reasoning and reflections in-action in every learning cycle. Content analysis of the focus group interviews showed good acceptance of the model by students. The VP was regarded as an intermediate learning activity and a complement to both the theoretical and the clinical part of the education, filling out gaps in clinical knowledge. The content of the VP case was regarded as authentic and the students appreciated the immediate feedback. The students found the structure of the model interactive and easy to follow. The students also reported that the VP case supported their self-directed learning and reflective ability.
We have built a new VP model for primary care with embedded communication training and iterated learning cycles that in pilot testing showed good acceptance by students, supporting their self-directed learning and reflective thinking.
PMCID: PMC3906652  PMID: 24394603
virtual patients; clinical reasoning; reflection; primary care; medical education
14.  Association of Medical Students' Reports of Interactions with the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industries and Medical School Policies and Characteristics: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(10):e1001743.
Aaron Kesselheim and colleagues compared US medical students' survey responses regarding pharmaceutical company interactions with the schools' AMSA PharmFree scorecard and Institute on Medicine as a Profession's (IMAP) scores.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Professional societies use metrics to evaluate medical schools' policies regarding interactions of students and faculty with the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. We compared these metrics and determined which US medical schools' industry interaction policies were associated with student behaviors.
Methods and Findings
Using survey responses from a national sample of 1,610 US medical students, we compared their reported industry interactions with their schools' American Medical Student Association (AMSA) PharmFree Scorecard and average Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) Conflicts of Interest Policy Database score. We used hierarchical logistic regression models to determine the association between policies and students' gift acceptance, interactions with marketing representatives, and perceived adequacy of faculty–industry separation. We adjusted for year in training, medical school size, and level of US National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. We used LASSO regression models to identify specific policies associated with the outcomes. We found that IMAP and AMSA scores had similar median values (1.75 [interquartile range 1.50–2.00] versus 1.77 [1.50–2.18], adjusted to compare scores on the same scale). Scores on AMSA and IMAP shared policy dimensions were not closely correlated (gift policies, r = 0.28, 95% CI 0.11–0.44; marketing representative access policies, r = 0.51, 95% CI 0.36–0.63). Students from schools with the most stringent industry interaction policies were less likely to report receiving gifts (AMSA score, odds ratio [OR]: 0.37, 95% CI 0.19–0.72; IMAP score, OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.19–1.04) and less likely to interact with marketing representatives (AMSA score, OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.15–0.69; IMAP score, OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.14–0.95) than students from schools with the lowest ranked policy scores. The association became nonsignificant when fully adjusted for NIH funding level, whereas adjusting for year of education, size of school, and publicly versus privately funded school did not alter the association. Policies limiting gifts, meals, and speaking bureaus were associated with students reporting having not received gifts and having not interacted with marketing representatives. Policy dimensions reflecting the regulation of industry involvement in educational activities (e.g., continuing medical education, travel compensation, and scholarships) were associated with perceived separation between faculty and industry. The study is limited by potential for recall bias and the cross-sectional nature of the survey, as school curricula and industry interaction policies may have changed since the time of the survey administration and study analysis.
As medical schools review policies regulating medical students' industry interactions, limitations on receipt of gifts and meals and participation of faculty in speaking bureaus should be emphasized, and policy makers should pay greater attention to less research-intensive institutions.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Making and selling prescription drugs and medical devices is big business. To promote their products, pharmaceutical and medical device companies build relationships with physicians by providing information on new drugs, by organizing educational meetings and sponsored events, and by giving gifts. Financial relationships begin early in physicians' careers, with companies providing textbooks and other gifts to first-year medical students. In medical school settings, manufacturers may help to inform trainees and physicians about developments in health care, but they also create the potential for harm to patients and health care systems. These interactions may, for example, reduce trainees' and trained physicians' skepticism about potentially misleading promotional claims and may encourage physicians to prescribe new medications, which are often more expensive than similar unbranded (generic) drugs and more likely to be recalled for safety reasons than older drugs. To address these and other concerns about the potential career-long effects of interactions between medical trainees and industry, many teaching hospitals and medical schools have introduced policies to limit such interactions. The development of these policies has been supported by expert professional groups and medical societies, some of which have created scales to evaluate the strength of the implemented industry interaction policies.
Why Was This Study Done?
The impact of policies designed to limit interactions between students and industry on student behavior is unclear, and it is not known which aspects of the policies are most predictive of student behavior. This information is needed to ensure that the policies are working and to identify ways to improve them. Here, the researchers investigate which medical school characteristics and which aspects of industry interaction policies are most predictive of students' reported behaviors and beliefs by comparing information collected in a national survey of US medical students with the strength of their schools' industry interaction policies measured on two scales—the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) PharmFree Scorecard and the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) Conflicts of Interest Policy Database.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers compared information about reported gift acceptance, interactions with marketing representatives, and the perceived adequacy of faculty–industry separation collected from 1,610 medical students at 121 US medical schools with AMSA and IMAP scores for the schools evaluated a year earlier. Students at schools with the highest ranked interaction policies based on the AMSA score were 63% less likely to accept gifts as students at the lowest ranked schools. Students at the highest ranked schools based on the IMAP score were about half as likely to accept gifts as students at the lowest ranked schools, although this finding was not statistically significant (it could be a chance finding). Similarly, students at the highest ranked schools were 70% less likely to interact with sales representatives as students at the lowest ranked schools. These associations became statistically nonsignificant after controlling for the amount of research funding each school received from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Policies limiting gifts, meals, and being a part of speaking bureaus (where companies pay speakers to present information about the drugs for dinners and other events) were associated with students' reports of receiving no gifts and of non-interaction with sales representatives. Finally, policies regulating industry involvement in educational activities were associated with the perceived separation between faculty and industry, which was regarded as adequate by most of the students at schools with such policies.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that policies designed to limit industry interactions with medical students need to address multiple aspects of these interactions to achieve changes in the behavior and attitudes of trainees, but that policies limiting gifts, meals, and speaking bureaus may be particularly important. These findings also suggest that the level of NIH funding plays an important role in students' self-reported behaviors and their perceptions of industry, possibly because institutions with greater NIH funding have the resources needed to implement effective policies. The accuracy of these findings may be limited by recall bias (students may have reported their experiences inaccurately), and by the possibility that industry interaction policies may have changed in the year that elapsed between policy grading and the student survey. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that limitations on gifts should be emphasized when academic medical centers refine their policies on interactions between medical students and industry and that particular attention should be paid to the design and implementation of policies that regulate industry interactions in institutions with lower levels of NIH funding.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The UK General Medical Council provides guidance on financial and commercial arrangements and conflicts of interest as part of its good medical practice document, which describes what is required of all registered doctors in the UK
Information about the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Just Medicine campaign (formerly the PharmFree campaign) and about the AMSA Scorecard is available
Information about the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and about its Conflicts of Interest Policy Database is also available
“Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Practical Guide” is a manual prepared by Health Action International and the World Health Organization that medical schools can use to train students how to recognize and respond to pharmaceutical promotion
The US Institute of Medicine's report “Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice” recommends steps to identify, limit, and manage conflicts of interest
The ALOSA Foundation provides evidence-based, non-industry-funded education about treating common conditions and using prescription drugs
PMCID: PMC4196737  PMID: 25314155
15.  The First Year Medical Students’ Perception of and Satisfaction from Problem-based Learning Compared to Traditional Teaching in Gross Anatomy: Introducing Problem-based Anatomy into a Traditional Curriculum in Iran 
Problem-based learning (PBL) is still a controversial teaching method. A study of the effectiveness of PBL compared to traditional teaching in gross anatomy courses of first year medical students was evaluated by comparing the examination performances and student’s responses to the questionnaires. It was hypothesised that the PBL method would result in improved scores and satisfaction for students. A total of 89 first year medical students at Tabriz Medical University, Iran were taught gross anatomy with traditional teaching for one half of a semester and PBL for the other one half. Examination scores from both methods and an assessment of completed questionnaires were evaluated by the present study. The PBL method resulted in better examination scores than did traditional teaching for the same students. Students were more satisfied with PBL and believed that this method increased their problem solving abilities. Our study found that PBL was more successful than traditional teaching of gross anatomy.
PMCID: PMC3068663  PMID: 21475460
anatomy; methods; instruction; medical student
16.  Elevating Student Potential: Creating Digital Video to Teach Neurotransmission 
Students today have unprecedented access to technology, the Internet, and social media. Their nearly ubiquitous use of these platforms is well documented. Given that today’s students may be primed to learn using a different medium, incorporating various technological elements into the classroom in a manner compatible with traditional approaches to teaching becomes a challenge.
We recently designed and implemented a strategy that capitalized on this knowledge. Students in their first neuroscience course were required to create a 3–5 minute digital video using video-making freeware available on any Mac or PC. They used images, text, animation, as well as downloaded music to describe the fundamental process of neurotransmission as it applies to a topic of their choice. In comparison to students taught using other more traditional approaches to demonstrate the process of neurotransmission, we observed that students who took part in the video-making project exhibited better understanding of the neurological process at multiple levels, as defined by Bloom’s revised taxonomy. This was true even of students who had no aspirations of pursuing a Neuroscience career, thus suggesting that there was an overall increased level of student engagement regardless of personal career interests. The utility of our approach was validated by both direct and indirect assessments. Importantly, this particular strategy to teaching difficult concepts offers a high degree of flexibility allowing it to potentially be incorporated into any upper-level Neuroscience course.
PMCID: PMC3592746  PMID: 23493934
neurotransmission; e-learning; digital video; neurological disease; neurodegeneration; Facebook
17.  Effectiveness of a modified Continuum curriculum for medical students 
Neurology  2011;76(2):125-130.
Continuum: Lifelong Learning in Neurology® is a well-regarded and widely used continuing medical education tool published by the American Academy of Neurology. The objective of this study was to test the effectiveness of a modified version of the Dementia module of the Continuum curriculum, adapted for medical students rotating on their neurology clerkship, in increasing medical knowledge of dementia.
A multisite longitudinal randomized controlled design was used. Medical students rotating on their Neurology clerkship were recruited from 2 US medical schools. Participants completed 10 multiple-choice questions, 1 fill-in-the-blank, and 1 patient case simulation question to assess medical knowledge of the most prevalent dementias pre- and post-curriculum implementation. All students received their standard dementia curriculum (45-minute live didactic presentation on dementia along with a copy of the slides in handout form). Students were randomized to either the intervention (standard + Continuum curriculum) or control (standard curriculum alone) group. Data collection and outcomes assessment was optimized via an interactive audience response system (pretest) and Web-based survey/database tool (post-test and student satisfaction surveys).
From pre- to post-clinical clerkship, medical students completing the Continuum dementia curriculum in addition to standard clerkship curriculum demonstrated significantly greater increases in medical knowledge of dementia, relative to students completing only the standard curriculum. Subscores were significantly higher among Continuum-trained students on questions regarding Alzheimer disease (AD), frontotemporal lobar dementia, Lewy body dementia, AD treatment fill-in-the-blank, and AD patient case simulation.
The Continuum: Dementia for Medical Students curriculum provided an inexpensive and readily implementable means for improving medical knowledge of dementia. Improved performance on an AD patient case simulation may be considered a surrogate marker for optimized patient care.
PMCID: PMC3271388  PMID: 21220718
18.  Medical Students' Attitudinal Changes Towards Cadaver Dissection: A Longitudinal Study 
Recently, not only the medical school curriculum but also medical students' attitude towards cadaver-based learning of anatomy has changed. This investigation is therefore designed to analyse students' attitudes towards human cadaveric dissection before and after exposure to dissection.
A longitudinal survey was conducted among second year medical students in 2010 at the college of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar. All second year medical students (n=147) were included in the study where their attitudes were surveyed at three time points (one week prior to dissection session, a week after the initiation of dissection and eight weeks after the second survey). Three standardized and pretested questionnaires prepared in English were used to collected relevant data from the subjects.
Out of the 147 students 85.7% were males. The subjects' age ranged between 18 and 23 with a mean and standard deviation of 19.5±1 years. This study has revealed that among majority of the students fear and nausea have decreased while their interest and excitement has increased on subsequent exposure to dissection (P<0.05). About 75% of students considered the dissection room as slightly or highly stressful. Smell of the cadaver and eye irritation as a result of the chemicals in it were the major aspects identified as making the dissecting room stressful. The result also showed that almost all (99%) considered cadaver dissection had very important educational value for anatomy learning.
In the majority of the students fear and nausea had decreased while interest and excitement had increased on subsequent exposure to dissection. It also showed that chemical odour and eye irritations were the leading factors which create discomfort in the dissection room even though anatomical dissection by itself was not considered as a stressor. Thus, instructors are recommended to adequately prepare students mentally and emotionally before the commencement of the dissection session for an exciting and stress free anatomy learning though dissection.
PMCID: PMC3448296  PMID: 23066333
Cadaver; dissection; attitude; Ethiopia
19.  Videos have a role in postgraduate necropsy education 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2004;57(8):877-881.
Aims: This is the first study to investigate the usefulness of structured, scripted videos as an adjunct to the mortuary based training of histopathology trainees in necropsy techniques.
Methods: Four structured and scripted videos describing aspects of necropsy health and safety, evisceration, general dissection techniques, specialist dissection techniques, and reconstruction were shown to histopathology trainees attending the 2001 University of Sheffield short course on the autopsy. Delegates who agreed to participate in the study were asked to complete a short questionnaire seeking Likert-type and free text responses concerning the usefulness of the videos in postgraduate necropsy training. Free text responses were analysed using a themed content analysis.
Results: All 38 delegates who viewed the videos agreed to participate in the study. Of these, 35 found the videos enjoyable and 34 found them interesting. Thirty one felt the videos enhanced their learning experience. Advantages of the videos included the ability to learn about specialist techniques rarely encountered in the mortuary, the ability to teach large numbers of students at once, allowing students to learn at their own pace, and as a tool for revision. Repetition between the videos, a lack of interactivity, and a lack of sufficient detail on general necropsy techniques were felt by participants to be the principal disadvantages of this teaching tool.
Conclusions: Videos are an acceptable teaching tool for students. They have a valuable role to play as an adjunct to dissection in teaching junior histopathology trainees about specialist necropsy dissection techniques.
PMCID: PMC1770382  PMID: 15280412
necropsy; postgraduate medical education; video
20.  Medical Students' Exposure to and Attitudes about the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1001037.
A systematic review of published studies reveals that undergraduate medical students may experience substantial exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, and that this contact may be associated with positive attitudes about marketing.
The relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has become a source of controversy. Physicians' attitudes towards the industry can form early in their careers, but little is known about this key stage of development.
Methods and Findings
We performed a systematic review reported according to PRISMA guidelines to determine the frequency and nature of medical students' exposure to the drug industry, as well as students' attitudes concerning pharmaceutical policy issues. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and ERIC from the earliest available dates through May 2010, as well as bibliographies of selected studies. We sought original studies that reported quantitative or qualitative data about medical students' exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, their attitudes about marketing practices, relationships with industry, and related pharmaceutical policy issues. Studies were separated, where possible, into those that addressed preclinical versus clinical training, and were quality rated using a standard methodology. Thirty-two studies met inclusion criteria. We found that 40%–100% of medical students reported interacting with the pharmaceutical industry. A substantial proportion of students (13%–69%) were reported as believing that gifts from industry influence prescribing. Eight studies reported a correlation between frequency of contact and favorable attitudes toward industry interactions. Students were more approving of gifts to physicians or medical students than to government officials. Certain attitudes appeared to change during medical school, though a time trend was not performed; for example, clinical students (53%–71%) were more likely than preclinical students (29%–62%) to report that promotional information helps educate about new drugs.
Undergraduate medical education provides substantial contact with pharmaceutical marketing, and the extent of such contact is associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism about negative implications of these interactions. These results support future research into the association between exposure and attitudes, as well as any modifiable factors that contribute to attitudinal changes during medical education.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
The complex relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has long been a subject of discussion among physicians and policymakers. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that physicians' interactions with pharmaceutical sales representatives may influence clinical decision making in a way that is not always in the best interests of individual patients, for example, encouraging the use of expensive treatments that have no therapeutic advantage over less costly alternatives. The pharmaceutical industry often uses physician education as a marketing tool, as in the case of Continuing Medical Education courses that are designed to drive prescribing practices.
One reason that physicians may be particularly susceptible to pharmaceutical industry marketing messages is that doctors' attitudes towards the pharmaceutical industry may form early in their careers. The socialization effect of professional schooling is strong, and plays a lasting role in shaping views and behaviors.
Why Was This Study Done?
Recently, particularly in the US, some medical schools have limited students' and faculties' contact with industry, but some have argued that these restrictions are detrimental to students' education. Given the controversy over the pharmaceutical industry's role in undergraduate medical training, consolidating current knowledge in this area may be useful for setting priorities for changes to educational practices. In this study, the researchers systematically examined studies of pharmaceutical industry interactions with medical students and whether such interactions influenced students' views on related topics.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers did a comprehensive literature search using appropriate search terms for all relevant quantitative and qualitative studies published before June 2010. Using strict inclusion criteria, the researchers then selected 48 articles (from 1,603 abstracts) for full review and identified 32 eligible for analysis—giving a total of approximately 9,850 medical students studying at 76 medical schools or hospitals.
Most students had some form of interaction with the pharmaceutical industry but contact increased in the clinical years, with up to 90% of all clinical students receiving some form of educational material. The highest level of exposure occurred in the US. In most studies, the majority of students in their clinical training years found it ethically permissible for medical students to accept gifts from drug manufacturers, while a smaller percentage of preclinical students reported such attitudes. Students justified their entitlement to gifts by citing financial hardship or by asserting that most other students accepted gifts. In addition, although most students believed that education from industry sources is biased, students variably reported that information obtained from industry sources was useful and a valuable part of their education.
Almost two-thirds of students reported that they were immune to bias induced by promotion, gifts, or interactions with sales representatives but also reported that fellow medical students or doctors are influenced by such encounters. Eight studies reported a relationship between exposure to the pharmaceutical industry and positive attitudes about industry interactions and marketing strategies (although not all included supportive statistical data). Finally, student opinions were split on whether physician–industry interactions should be regulated by medical schools or the government.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This analysis shows that students are frequently exposed to pharmaceutical marketing, even in the preclinical years, and that the extent of students' contact with industry is generally associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism towards any negative implications of interactions with industry. Therefore, strategies to educate students about interactions with the pharmaceutical industry should directly address widely held misconceptions about the effects of marketing and other biases that can emerge from industry interactions. But education alone may be insufficient. Institutional policies, such as rules regulating industry interactions, can play an important role in shaping students' attitudes, and interventions that decrease students' contact with industry and eliminate gifts may have a positive effect on building the skills that evidence-based medical practice requires. These changes can help cultivate strong professional values and instill in students a respect for scientific principles and critical evidence review that will later inform clinical decision-making and prescribing practices.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Further information about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on doctors and medical students can be found at the American Medical Students Association PharmFree campaign and PharmFree Scorecard, Medsin-UKs PharmAware campaign, the nonprofit organization Healthy Skepticism, and the Web site of No Free Lunch.
PMCID: PMC3101205  PMID: 21629685
21.  Application of case discussions to improve anatomy learning in Syria 
Avicenna Journal of Medicine  2013;3(4):87-91.
Designing a new approach for learning gross anatomy to improve students’ motivation to study anatomy and to enable them to learn independently through case discussion.
Materials and Methods:
The study included newly registered students in the first academic year. The total number of students was 165, who were divided by alphabetical order into 15 groups of 11 students. Each group was led by one faculty member and each faculty member lead 3 groups. Each group met twice a week for 2 weeks to discuss one case related to the upper limb anatomy. Students took pre- and posttests and completed an opinion questionnaire about the case discussions.
The pretest score shows that 20% of the students received grades of 60% or above and that 80% received grades less than 60%. The posttest showed that 45% of the students received grades of 60% or above and that 55% received grades less than 60%. There was a significant difference between the pre- and posttest for grades <60% (P = 0.0000) and less significant for grades >60% (P = 0.0023). In addition, 17% of students achieved the same results (less than 60%) in both the pre- and posttests. The questionnaire revealed that all students stated that the discussion method was useful in their learning process, helped them to increase their motivation to study anatomy (85%), know the usefulness of studying anatomy (84%), and understand the problems (91%).
The implementation of the case discussion in teaching anatomy can increase the students’ understanding and motivate them to learn.
PMCID: PMC3841482  PMID: 24327966
Anatomy learning; anatomy teaching; case discussion; medical students; problem-assisted learning; problem-based learning
22.  Use of Live Interactive Webcasting for an International Postgraduate Module in eHealth: Case Study Evaluation 
Producing “traditional” e-learning can be time consuming, and in a topic such as eHealth, it may have a short shelf-life. Students sometimes report feeling isolated and lacking in motivation. Synchronous methods can play an important part in any blended approach to learning.
The aim was to develop, deliver, and evaluate an international postgraduate module in eHealth using live interactive webcasting.
We developed a hybrid solution for live interactive webcasting using a scan converter, mixer, and digitizer, and video server to embed a presenter-controlled talking head or copy of the presenter’s computer screen (normally a PowerPoint slide) in a student chat room. We recruited 16 students from six countries and ran weekly 2.5-hour live sessions for 10 weeks. The content included the use of computers by patients, patient access to records, different forms of e-learning for patients and professionals, research methods in eHealth, geographic information systems, and telehealth. All sessions were recorded—presentations as video files and the student interaction as text files. Students were sent an email questionnaire of mostly open questions seeking their views of this form of learning. Responses were collated and anonymized by a colleague who was not part of the teaching team.
Sessions were generally very interactive, with most students participating actively in breakout or full-class discussions. In a typical 2.5-hour session, students posted about 50 messages each. Two students did not complete all sessions; one withdrew from the pressure of work after session 6, and one from illness after session 7. Fourteen of the 16 responded to the feedback questionnaire. Most students (12/14) found the module useful or very useful, and all would recommend the module to others. All liked the method of delivery, in particular the interactivity, the variety of students, and the “closeness” of the group. Most (11/14) felt “connected” with the other students on the course. Many students (11/14) had previous experience with asynchronous e-learning, two as teachers; 12/14 students suggested advantages of synchronous methods, mostly associated with the interaction and feedback from teachers and peers.
This model of synchronous e-learning based on interactive live webcasting was a successful method of delivering an international postgraduate module. Students found it engaging over a 10-week course. Although this is a small study, given that synchronous methods such as interactive webcasting are a much easier transition for lecturers used to face-to-face teaching than are asynchronous methods, they should be considered as part of the blend of e-learning methods. Further research and development is needed on interfaces and methods that are robust and accessible, on the most appropriate blend of synchronous and asynchronous work for different student groups, and on learning outcomes and effectiveness.
PMCID: PMC2802565  PMID: 19914901
Webcasting; synchronous e-learning; eHealth
23.  CIS2/377: INTRAMED: An Integrated Environment System for a Medical Course 
Education in medicine is being revolutionized by recent achievements in information technology. New research findings for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases are increasing considerably the amount of information required in by medical courses. The use of information technologies has modified access and integration of this diversity of information minimizing the overload of the medical curriculum.
Our goal is to develop a web-based environment, INTRAMED, to address the new teaching and learning procedures in the medical school of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE).
Methodology and Equipment
The project will provide a new way for the medical students to deal with the excess of information using recent information technologies in the health field both as an educational and informative tool. This includes the development of individual tools (integrating complex objects such as audio, fix images, video, and Internet access) for each discipline in the medical course. These tools will be stored in an SQL database server using a Microsoft NT environment. Each student or teacher will have their own personal login and password to access their data. The Internet access will be offered through the medical course homepage. This project involves the mutual co-operation of the Technology, Information and health group (TIS) and the teachers responsible for the disciplines. It will be developed at the LIKA laboratories. The system will be available for the users on the Computer Laboratory of the Medical Course composed by 60 microcomputers connected to the Internet.
Provide access to information on all disciplines included in the course, students' scores, activities schedule, a fast way of communicating to teachers, students and course co-ordinators. The use of a Web environment to support teaching and learning activities will provide the necessary speed and flexibility to accomplish the next step in supporting our medical school activities.
PMCID: PMC1761736
Intranet; Medical Education; Problem-Based Learning; Provider of Information
24.  Final-Year Medical Students’ Perceptions Regarding the Curriculum in Public Health 
The Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, has an integrated curriculum in which teaching of public health takes place through a series of modules which span the full five-year study programme.
To assess final year medical student perceptions regarding the public health curriculum and to identify factors which influence this.
Materials and Methods:
The study was cross sectional. Convenience sampling was utilized on final-year students of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. A self-administered 4-point Likert scale questionnaire covered general opinion on public healthcare and perceptions about the curriculum. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests.
One hundred and eighty four students (94%) participated in the study. Eighty-two percent (148) viewed public health as an important field. Only 9% (16) were interested in a career in public health. A significant association was found between choosing public health as career and the following: perception of public health as an important field; holding a good opinion about public health prior to commencement of the course; having found the field-based experience enjoyable and beneficial to the community; and feeling competent to work in the community at the end of the course (P < 0.01). With regard to teaching methods, group activities and discussion-centered activities were identified positively (153, 83% and 125, 68% respectively). The majority of students indicated that they were not stimulated to read more on the subject or regularly revise what they have learnt, both during the introductory public health programme and during the final year.
The curriculum has been able to create a positive opinion about public health. However, students lack enthusiasm to learn independently. Experiential, group-centered teaching activities and a constructivist approach may be more effective in promoting independent learning. Perceptions are important and should aid in structuring the curricula.
PMCID: PMC3263146  PMID: 22279256
Community medicine; curricula; medical students; perceptions
25.  How the Dissection Laboratory Facilitates Integration of Learning: Presence of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm with a Large Intracardiac Thrombus: A Rare Cadaver Finding 
There is a debate among medical education experts on the application of dissection or prosection for learning anatomy. However, the literature reveals that the majority of published articles are in favor of dissection. In this article, we present a case of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) with intracardiac thrombus in a cadaver on routine dissection. We will discuss possible explanations for such finding and provide some insight into how this finding can support the significance of the cadaver-based teaching of anatomy of the medical students. Initially, the abdomen was dissected and exposed to study the abdominal structures in an anatomy class and later the thoracic region was dissected and all the clinical abnormalities were examined and documented. Autopsy of the clot was obtained for histopathology analysis. The intracardiac thrombus was present in the right atrium characterized by its projection into the superior vena cava, inferior vena cava, and the right ventricle. The AAA was extensive and inferior to the renal arteries constricting the entire inferior vena cava. Moreover, associated findings included presence of numerous collaterals in the thoracic region near the superior vena cava; histological examination of the clot showed extensive population of leukocytes. There were enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes. Our cadaver showed an excellent model for integrating between clinical anatomy and pathology by triggering medical students to think of normal and abnormal structures: often called “thinking outside the box.” Such an effort might help them in developing their thought processes and future medical careers.
PMCID: PMC3444012  PMID: 23730133
medical education; dissection; student-centered learning; intracardiac thrombus

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