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J Osteopath Med




CONTEXT: With the surge of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19]), the modality of teaching anatomy has shifted from in-person cadaveric dissection to virtual lessons for incoming first-year medical students. As a result, we aim to assess the impact that this curriculum change has on student perspectives.

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to understand the relative effect of a virtual anatomy course implemented during the pandemic (2019-2020) on the confidence, skills, and perspectives of first-year medical students compared to medical students who had traditional in-person anatomy at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (Rowan SOM) in Stratford, New Jersey.

METHODS: The authors developed a 14-question survey to target gross anatomy students of the Classes of 2023 and 2024 at Rowan SOM. The Class of 2024 had a virtual anatomy lab compared to the Class of 2023, who had an in-person anatomy lab in their first year of medical school. The responses were analyzed to understand the difference between a hands-on cadaver lab and a virtual anatomy lab utilizing SPSS.

RESULTS: The survey was administered to approximately 400 people, from which we received 149 responses (37.3%). Among all responses, 36.2% (n=54) belonged to the Class of 2023 who encountered hands-on cadaver experience, whereas 63.8% (n=95) belonged to the Class of 2024 who gained virtual anatomy lab experience. An independent t-test statistical analysis was utilized. Under the confidence domain, when students were asked about the understanding of trauma after their respective anatomy labs, 64.0% of the Class of 2023 (n=50) showed significantly higher confidence with p

CONCLUSIONS: Based on current results, it can be established that medical students who had in-person cadaveric dissection had a favorable attitude toward their anatomy course compared to students who had virtual anatomy during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Published Citation

Kochhar, Smriti, Tasnim, Tasfia and Gupta, Adarsh. "Is cadaveric dissection essential in medical education? A qualitative survey comparing pre-and post-COVID-19 anatomy courses" Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, vol. 123, no. 1, 2023, pp. 19-26.