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Dissection videos do not improve anatomy examination scores

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Abstract

In this quasi-experimental study, we describe the effect of showing dissection videos on first-year medical students' performance in terms of test scores during a gross anatomy course. We also surveyed students' perception regarding the showing of dissection videos. Two hundred eighty-seven first-year medical students at Rawalpindi Medical College in Pakistan, divided into two groups, dissected one limb in first term and switched over to the other limb in the second term. During the second term, instruction was supplemented by dissection videos. Second-term anatomy examination marks were compared with first-term scores and with results from first-year medical students in previous years. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed, with term scores (continuous, 0–200) as the dependent variable. Students shown dissection videos scored 1.26 marks higher than those not shown. The relationship was not statistically significant (95% CI: −1.11, 3.70; P = 0.314). Ninety-three percent of students favored regular inclusion of dissection videos in curriculum, and 50% termed it the best source for learning gross anatomy. Seventy-six percent of students did not perform regular cadaver dissection. The most frequent reason cited for not performing regular dissection was high student-cadaver ratio. Dissection videos did not improve performance on final examination scores; however, students favored their use. Anat Sci Educ. © 2011 American Association of Anatomists.

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