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Keywords:

  • vertical integration;
  • gross anatomy education;
  • medical education;
  • anatomy electives;
  • clinical education;
  • basic science;
  • musculoskeletal anatomy;
  • curricular template

Current undergraduate medical school curricular trends focus on both vertical integration of clinical knowledge into the traditionally basic science-dedicated curricula and increasing basic science education in the clinical years. This latter type of integration is more difficult and less reported on than the former. Here, we present an outline of a course wherein the primary learning and teaching objective is to integrate basic science anatomy knowledge with clinical education. The course was developed through collaboration by a multi-specialist course development team (composed of both basic scientists and physicians) and was founded in current adult learning theories. The course was designed to be widely applicable to multiple future specialties, using current published reports regarding the topics and clinical care areas relying heavily on anatomical knowledge regardless of specialist focus. To this end, the course focuses on the role of anatomy in the diagnosis and treatment of frequently encountered musculoskeletal conditions. Our iterative implementation and action research approach to this course development has yielded a curricular template for anatomy integration into clinical years. Key components for successful implementation of these types of courses, including content topic sequence, the faculty development team, learning approaches, and hidden curricula, were developed. We also report preliminary feedback from course stakeholders and lessons learned through the process. The purpose of this report is to enhance the current literature regarding basic science integration in the clinical years of medical school. Anat Sci Educ 7: 379–388. © 2014 American Association of Anatomists.