Student Perceptions of Preparedness Towards Entry-Level Practice Following a Non-Cadaver Based Anatomy Course.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a non-cadaver based anatomy course on the outcomes of Doctorate of Physical Therapy students and to assess student perceptions of anatomical knowledge and preparedness for subsequent courses and clinical rotations through the curriculum. Due to high cost of education, programs and universities are increasingly exploring streamlined and alternative delivery models in an effort to reduce overall cost. Cadaver based anatomy courses require significant financial, time and human resources prompting many programs to explore alternative laboratory models to reduce these burdens while maintaining educational effectiveness.This project explores one such model.Methods/Description: Forty DPT students who completed a non-cadaver based anatomy course at WCU were surveyed twice during their second year, pre and post the first clinical rotaiton. A final survey will be administered at the end of the third year of the curriculum. Survey questions explored how students felt about the non-cadaver course and if they were adequately prepared for the rest of the program and clinical experiences. Participation in this study in no way impacted course grading.Results/Outcomes: Of the initial 40 students, 37 completed the survey following their clinical rotation. This left 92.5% compliance with 7.5% dropout rate for final statistical analysis. Pre-clinical, 85% of students agreed or strongly agreed that anatomy without cadavers prepared them appropriately, and 89% of students agreed or strongly agreed post-clinical. Students reported feeling most prepared for the kinesiology course (100%) and musculoskeletal physical therapy (97.5%). The cardiopulmonary course rated far lower (62.5%). In the post clinical survey, there was a 12% increase in the belief that cadavers are not essential to adequate physical therapy education. The survey will be administered for the third time in August 2018, following the completion of the final clinical affiliation. These results will then be integrated.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Our Leadership Landscape: Perspectives from the Ground Level to 30,000 Feet: This study demonstrates that a non-cadaver anatomy laboratory can be an efficient and cost-effective alternative to the traditional cadaver labs. While human dissection can be highly educational, it is not the only way to effectively prepare DPT students for the remaining fundamental courses and clinical rotations. Surveying students on their confidence as they progress in the curriculum further explores long term retention of anatomical knowledge. The majority of the students felt confident in their anatomy knowledge and agreed that the non-cadaver course was still an effective means of anatomy education. The final survey will demonstrate whether this perception of adequate anatomical preparation continued as they progressed through their final clinical rotations towards entry-level physical therapy practice. Cadaver based anatomy may become unnecessary as we move forward in enhancing and optimizing the education for the future generations of physical therapy students.References: Aziz, A., McKenzie, J., Wilson, J., Cowie, R., Ayeni, S., Dunn, B. (2002). The Human Cadaver in the Age of Biomedical Informatics. The Anatomical Record, 269, 20-32. Barnes, C., Mattingly, G. (1994). Teaching Human Anatomy in Physical Therapy Education in the United States: A Survey, Physical Therapy. 74(8), 720-727. Berube, D., Murray, C., Schultze, K. (1999). Cadaver and Computer Use in the Teaching of Gross Anatomy in Physical Therapy Education, Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 13(2), 41- 46. Bukowski, E. (2002). Assessment Outcomes: Computerized Instruction in a Human Gross Anatomy Course. Journal of Allied Health, 31(3),153-158. Hopkins, R., Regeher, G., Wilson, T. (2011). Exploring the Changing Learning Environment of the Gross Anatomy Lab. Academic Medicine, 86 (7), 883-888. Khot, Z., Quinlan, K., Norman, G., Wainman, B. (2013). The Relative Effectiveness of Computer- Based and Traditional Resources for Education in Anatomy. Anatomical Sciences Education, 00,000-000. Ogard, W. K. (2014). Outcomes Related to a Multimodal Human Anatomy Course With Decreased Cadaver Dissection in a Doctor of Physical Therapy Curriculum. Journal of Physical Therapy Education,28(3), 21-26. doi:10.1097/00001416-201407000-00004 Plack, M. (2000). Computer-Assisted Instruction Versus Traditional Instruction in Teaching Human Gross Anatomy. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 14(1), 38-43.