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Keywords:

  • education;
  • achievement;
  • gross anatomy;
  • anatomy teaching;
  • learning

Abstract

Determining the optimal conditions for learning anatomy will help medical students to do better in a gross anatomy course. We examined the two types of anatomy courses offered in our institution: slow-paced (SP) and fast-paced (FP) courses, in which the same content is taught in approximately the same number of hours (SP = 91 hr; FP = 90 hr), but the duration of each course differed (SP = 91 1-hr sessions lasting 20 weeks; FP = 45 2-hr sessions lasting 9 weeks). The objective of this study was to find out whether a relationship exists between anatomy course pace and achievement. Two groups of students were tested on their anatomy knowledge both before beginning and after completing either the SP or the FP course. The average difference in scores obtained on the pre- and postcourse tests for each group was obtained and a t-test was used (P < 0.05) to compare the mean score for each group. A significant difference was found between group SP and group FP, with the highest achievement obtained by group SP. The pace of the course is thus a factor that influences achievement. Anat Rec (Part B: New Anat) 289B:134–138, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.