School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Knowledge Retention Across Curricular Models: An International Collaboration

Poster Number

215

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Education/Health Services

Keywords

Medical education, knowledge retention, Curriculum development

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

1Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Biology, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 2Department of Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 3Department of Human and Organizational Learning, The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, 4Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences,

5Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, The American University of Beirut, 6Faculty of Medicine & Medical Sciences Dept. of Biomedical Sciences, University of Balamand, 7Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Palermo, 8Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University College Cork, Ireland

Anatomy is one of the first subjects taught in medical school, and its retention over time has been strongly debated. Physicians have commented on medical students’ poor anatomical knowledge in surgically oriented clerkships. Literature also shows that correlating clinical and anatomical sciences throughout early medical education may improve anatomical knowledge retention. With major medical school curricular changes happening globally, more quantitative data confirming this correlation is needed.

The medical curriculum at The George Washington University (GWU) School of Medicine recently transitioned from a discipline-based curriculum to an integrated system-based one, and an evaluation of anatomical knowledge retention between classes in the different curricula was conducted. Students from the last class of the discipline-based curriculum and those from the first and second classes of the new, integrated curriculum completed a 27-question test before starting their clinical rotations. Scores were then analyzed and compared between classes.

The results demonstrated a significant increase in retention (p=0.012), with a mean score based on the old curriculum of 56.28% (SD=24.6%), as compared to a mean score of 63.98% (SD=23.48%) based on the new curriculum.

The results show that integration enhances retention in the anatomical discipline. To strengthen these findings, we are conducting an international multicenter study, in collaboration with four other medical schools that have very different curricula: The American University of Beirut (Lebanon), Balamand University (Lebanon), Palermo University (Italy), and University College Cork (Ireland). A uniform baseline pre-test will be given at the end of pre-clinical anatomy instructions and a post-test will be given prior to students going into the relevant clinical rotations, and retention drop will be measured accordingly. The effectiveness of different curricula will be evaluated by comparing baseline and final test scores. This multicenter study will offer unique insights and comparisons of various curricular models.

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Knowledge Retention Across Curricular Models: An International Collaboration

1Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Biology, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 2Department of Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 3Department of Human and Organizational Learning, The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, 4Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences,

5Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, The American University of Beirut, 6Faculty of Medicine & Medical Sciences Dept. of Biomedical Sciences, University of Balamand, 7Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Palermo, 8Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University College Cork, Ireland

Anatomy is one of the first subjects taught in medical school, and its retention over time has been strongly debated. Physicians have commented on medical students’ poor anatomical knowledge in surgically oriented clerkships. Literature also shows that correlating clinical and anatomical sciences throughout early medical education may improve anatomical knowledge retention. With major medical school curricular changes happening globally, more quantitative data confirming this correlation is needed.

The medical curriculum at The George Washington University (GWU) School of Medicine recently transitioned from a discipline-based curriculum to an integrated system-based one, and an evaluation of anatomical knowledge retention between classes in the different curricula was conducted. Students from the last class of the discipline-based curriculum and those from the first and second classes of the new, integrated curriculum completed a 27-question test before starting their clinical rotations. Scores were then analyzed and compared between classes.

The results demonstrated a significant increase in retention (p=0.012), with a mean score based on the old curriculum of 56.28% (SD=24.6%), as compared to a mean score of 63.98% (SD=23.48%) based on the new curriculum.

The results show that integration enhances retention in the anatomical discipline. To strengthen these findings, we are conducting an international multicenter study, in collaboration with four other medical schools that have very different curricula: The American University of Beirut (Lebanon), Balamand University (Lebanon), Palermo University (Italy), and University College Cork (Ireland). A uniform baseline pre-test will be given at the end of pre-clinical anatomy instructions and a post-test will be given prior to students going into the relevant clinical rotations, and retention drop will be measured accordingly. The effectiveness of different curricula will be evaluated by comparing baseline and final test scores. This multicenter study will offer unique insights and comparisons of various curricular models.