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Anatomy Education and Classroom Versus Laparoscopic Dissection-Based Training: A Randomized Study at One Medical School

ten Brinke, Bart MD, MSc; Klitsie, Pieter J. MD, MSc; Timman, Reinier PhD; Busschbach, Jan J. V. PhD; Lange, Johan F. MD, PhD; Kleinrensink, Gert-Jan PhD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000223
Research Reports

Purpose: Anatomy education on embalmed specimens is presumed to have added educational value. However, although embalmed specimens have been used for anatomy education for years, there is little evidence on the added educational value of dissection-based teaching. The objective of this randomized study is to examine the added value of dissection-based teaching, using models of the inguinal region in embalmed specimens.

Method: In 2011, medical students at Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands, were randomly assigned to three groups. Group I attended lectures, group II attended dissection-based training using laparoscopic dissection models, and group III attended lectures as well as dissection-based laparoscopic training. To assess the improvement of anatomical knowledge, all students had to complete a practical test before, immediately after, and two weeks after training. Data were analyzed with mixed modeling.

Results: Forty-six students participated in this study. No significant difference in results was observed among the three groups before the start of training. Immediately after the course, groups II and III scored significantly higher than group I (P < .001; P < .001), and group II scored higher than group III (P = .009). The difference between group I and groups II and III persisted during follow-up (P = 012; P = .001). The difference between groups II and III disappeared.

Conclusions: Three-dimensional anatomy education with dissection models enhances anatomy learning by medical students. Students who received dissection-based training scored higher in the short- and long term compared with students who did not receive this type of education.

Dr. ten Brinke is a researcher, Department of Surgery, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Dr. Klitsie is a PhD candidate, Department of Surgery, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Dr. Timman is a statistician, Department of Psychiatry, Section of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Institute of Medical Education Research Rotterdam (iMERR), Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Dr. Busschbach is professor of psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Section of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Institute of Medical Education Research, Rotterdam (iMERR), Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Dr. Lange is professor of surgery, Department of Surgery, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Dr. Kleinrensink is professor of anatomy, Department of Neuroscience and Anatomy, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Please see the end of this article for information about the authors.

Funding/Support: None reported.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: According to the Dutch law, only medical research requires ethical approval. The subject of this study was to evaluate educational methods, and, therefore, no ethical approval was required. Given that there were no medical interventions related to this study, no patients were involved, and participation was voluntary, no medical ethical approval was requested.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at http://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A199.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. ten Brinke, Erasmus Medical Center, Department of Surgery, Gravendijkwal 230, PO BOX 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; e-mail: barttenbrinke@gmail.com.

© 2014 by the Association of American Medical Colleges