The impact of curricular change on medical students' knowledge of anatomy
Version of Record online: 22 OCT 2003
Volume 37, Issue 11, pages 954–961, November 2003
How to Cite
McKeown, P. P., Heylings, D. J. A., Stevenson, M., McKelvey, K. J., Nixon, J. R. and R McCluskey, D. (2003), The impact of curricular change on medical students' knowledge of anatomy. Medical Education, 37: 954–961. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2003.01670.x
- Issue online: 22 OCT 2003
- Version of Record online: 22 OCT 2003
- Received 21 August 2002; editorial comments to authors 3 December 2002; accepted for publication 30 January 2003
- education, medical, undergraduate/*standards;
- Northern Ireland;
- educational measurement
Background In recent years, following the publication of Tomorrow's Doctors, the undergraduate medical curriculum in most UK medical schools has undergone major revision. This has resulted in a significant reduction in the time allocated to the teaching of the basic medical sciences, including anatomy. However, it is not clear what impact these changes have had on medical students' knowledge of surface anatomy.
Aim This study aimed to assess the impact of these curricular changes on medical students' knowledge of surface anatomy.
Setting Medical student intakes for 1995–98 at the Queen's University of Belfast, UK.
Methods The students were invited to complete a simple examination paper testing their knowledge of surface anatomy. Results from the student intake of 1995, which undertook a traditional, ‘old’ curriculum, were compared with those from the student intakes of 1996−98, which undertook a new, ‘systems-based’ curriculum. To enhance linear response and enable the use of linear models for analysis, all data were adjusted using probit transformations of the proportion (percentage) of correct answers for each item and each year group.
Results The student intake of 1995 (old curriculum) were more likely to score higher than the students who undertook the new, systems-based curriculum.
Conclusion The introduction of the new, systems-based course has had a negative impact on medical students' knowledge of surface anatomy.