Medical schools are substituting anatomy dissection with various supplemental learning techniques such as virtual and augmented reality. Most studies focus on the knowledge of anatomy content as an outcome measure without evidence of clinical anatomical conceptual knowledge, engagement in group learning, or social development. Despite having no absolute standard method of learning or teaching anatomy, especially considering today’s modern era of disruptive medical innovations and technology, there have been reports of successful teaching using problem-based learning. In our medical school, we present the anatomy lab experience in a balanced multimodal integrated approach using plastinated cadaveric materials supported by clinical cases, quizzes, virtual reality, imaging, ultrasound (US) experience, and dissection videos, all presented in a team-based learning environment.
During the “Structural Integrity of Human Body” (MSK) course, six anatomy lab sessions were created consisting of clinically integrated topics. Students were divided into three groups, each consisting of four students. Each lab session contained multiple stations utilizing a different form of a learning experience. Students’ perceptions and comments about these learning experiences were collected during the end of course evaluations and an exclusive anatomy lab survey.
More than 90% of students agreed that the integrated anatomy labs enhanced their learning experience. However, the exclusive imaging experience was rated lower. 64% of students agreed that hands-on ultrasound had improved their learning experience. The dissection video watching station was rated very low. The students‘ perception survey revealed that students learned more while working in teams than being led by the faculty. Data on the students’ work-life balance was favorable and within the national standards. The students’ engagement and effectiveness were assessed by their lab quizzes, lab attendance, and grades in the lab practical exam.
Multimodal clinical teaching in anatomy lab provided students with conceptual knowledge of integrated disciplines and elaborated their understating of contextual clinical-anatomical concepts. The relaxed, active learning lab environment helped students to work efficiently within their teams and improve their social interaction.