The Clinical Anatomy Fellowship: Revolutionizing Curricular Experiences for Faculty and Students

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Anatomical Sciences Education


Fellows completing the Clinical Anatomy Fellowship at Kansas City University assist Anatomy faculty in the Gross Anatomy laboratory, complete robust research projects, and support other departments. The program's positive impact on participants has been reported; however, the impact on individuals interfacing with Fellows has not been investigated. A follow-up, survey-based (Likert scale, multiple-choice, open-ended) study was conducted to evaluate faculty, staff, and student perceptions of the program. Ninety-five percent of surveyed faculty and staff (n = 22) perceived the Fellows as beneficial to students, faculty, and the university (p < 0.05) by acting as role models (95%) and mentors (90%), contributing to educational processes (90%), and reducing faculty work burden (81%) (p < 0.05). Student responses (n = 95) were also positive: 97% perceived interactions with Fellows as beneficial (p < 0.05). A passion for Anatomy (mean, 4.6; p < 0.05) and the opportunity to increase competitiveness for residency (mean, 4.5; p < 0.05) were the most important factors driving interest in the Fellowship (Cronbach's alpha, 0.766). In contrast, diverting a year from the school's curriculum (mean, 4.4; p < 0.05) and delaying clinical experiences (mean, 4.3; p < 0.05) were the most important deterrents (Cronbach's alpha, 0.505). Additionally, the financial investment required by the program is lower than that associated with hiring full-time faculty. Analysis comparing employment of Fellows versus associate-level faculty identified annual net savings of $370,000. Not only does the Fellowship augment faculty and student experiences at the university, but it also allows for substantial cost savings. Collectively, these data are evidence for other health professional institutions to consider adopting a similar program.



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medical education, peer-to-peer teaching, undergraduate fellowship