The process of curricular integration and its effects on anatomical knowledge retention
anatomy; curriculum; learning; medical education
Introduction: Integration has been recognized as an important aspect of medical education. After transitioning from a discipline-specific to a systems-based preclinical curriculum, we examined faculty perceptions of the integrated approach and also whether it would lead to better anatomy knowledge retention. Methods: To understand faculty perspectives, we reviewed curricular materials, interviewed block directors, and observed educational sessions. We analyzed knowledge retention through a 27-question anatomy test, comparing scores from the last class of the discipline-based curriculum and the first two classes of the integrated curriculum. Results: Planning integrated content involves purposeful ordering, is challenging for faculty, and requires additional resources. Evaluation of the integrated approach for anatomy content demonstrated a significant increase in knowledge retention (p =.012; 56.28% vs. 63.98% for old vs. new curriculum). Conclusions: This study helps the understanding of what is required for curricular integration. Our anatomy evaluation results corroborated the view that contextually embedded information is easier to learn and retain.
Zhao, X., Goldman, E., Banani, T., Kline, K., Brown, K., Lee, J., & Jurjus, R. (2020). The process of curricular integration and its effects on anatomical knowledge retention. Clinical Anatomy, 33 (6). http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ca.23632