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The new face of gross anatomy.

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THE ANATOMICAL RECORD (NEW ANAT.) 269:81– 88, 2002
SPECIAL ARTICLE
The New Face of Gross Anatomy
JOY S. REIDENBERG*
AND
JEFFREY T. LAITMAN
The nature of anatomy education has changed substantially over the past decade due to both a new generation of
students who learn differently from those of past years and the enormity of advances in anatomical imaging and
viewing. At Mount Sinai School of Medicine, our anatomy courses have been designed to meld classic dissection with
the tools physicians and surgeons will use tomorrow. We introduce students to the newest technologies available for
viewing the body, such as minimally invasive approaches, ultrasonography, three-dimensional visualizations, multiaxial computerized image reconstructions, multi-planar magnetic resonance imaging, and plastinated prosections.
Students are given a hands-on, team-building experience operating laparoscopes in the laboratory. A great strength
of our program is the important and active participation by faculty from 15 different basic and clinical departments,
including several chairs and voluntary faculty. This interdisciplinary approach brings to our students direct, one-onone encounters or presentations by our finest physicians and surgeons and our core anatomy faculty. In addition, the
presence of many teaching assistants drawn from upper classmen and advanced graduate students adds an
additional, vibrant dimension. Our anatomy programs for medical/graduate students and postgraduates are
structured around three simple principles: (1) it is a privilege to teach, (2) we enlist only passionate teachers, and (3)
it is our role to instill appreciation and respect for human form. Anat Rec (New Anat) 269:81– 88, 2002.
© 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
KEY WORDS: teaching; education; gross anatomy; laboratory; medical curriculum; imaging; technology; laparoscopy; CT;
MRI; three dimensional; computer-assisted learning
INTRODUCTION
The old anatomy is dead. Long live the
new anatomy. For centuries, anatomy
Dr. Reidenberg is Associate Professor of
Anatomy and Functional Morphology at
the Mount Sinai School of Medicine
(MSSM) in New York. She teaches gross
anatomy for medical and graduate students, is coordinator for all prosection
programs, directs electives in comparative anatomy, and teaches in resident and
postgraduate courses at MSSM. She was
the 1999 recipient of the Basmajian–Williams and Wilkins Award from the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) for
Excellence in Teaching and Research by
a Gross Anatomist. Dr. Laitman is Professor and Director of the Center for Anatomy and Functional Morphology, Professor of Otolaryngology, and Director of
Gross Anatomy at MSSM. He was the first
recipient (1987) of the AAA Basmajian–Williams and Wilkins Award from the AAA.
*Correspondence to: Dr. Joy S. Reidenberg, Center for Anatomy and Functional
Morphology, Box 1007, Mount Sinai
School of Medicine, 1 Gustave L. Levy
Place, New York, NY 10029-6574. Fax:
212-860-1174; E-mail: joy.reidenberg@
mssm.edu
DOI 10.1002/ar.10076
Published online in Wiley InterScience
(www.interscience.wiley.com).
© 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
has been taught by means of numerous hours of cadaveric dissection supplemented by mostly factual lectures.
Poor to average teachers implanted
some facts and much tedium. The
occasional gifted, enthusiastic one
opened eyes and gave a template for
life-long interest.
So, is this not the world we still
face? Although the teaching pool is
probably the same, and the intelligence of our students always high,
some factors have changed radically.
First, we must recognize that the medical students of today are products of
the “interactive generation.” Watch,
for example, an 8-year-old “surf the
net” with the adroitness of a fine surgeon and one soon realizes they are
from a different planet than we are.
The world of our students is multimodal and stimulus dependent. The
concept of “come to the lecture” or
“read the book” as a primary directive
is rapidly becoming antiquated.
Second, we are in a time of extraordinary anatomical expansion.
The past few decades have witnessed
an explosion of new imaging and
minimally invasive modalities that
have brought to the table new and
wonderful ways to visualize structure. These modalities range from
laparoscopic viewing, enhanced
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
and computed tomography (CT), to
three-dimensional (3-D) visualizations. Opportunities have been
opened up that were previously only
pipe dreams.
What to do? First, it is most important not to fight forever the losing
battles of “generations have studied
this way” or “this is the only way to
learn the body.” For our generation,
yes. For the princes and princesses
of the Internet, Web, and portable
computers, maybe not. Call it what
you will, the medical students of today are “wired differently” and receive information in a different manner. Yes, there will always be the
gifted, budding orthopaedist who
spends every extra minute in the lab,
or the future Chief of Neurosurgery
who brings you articles by Harvey
82 THE ANATOMICAL RECORD (NEW ANAT.)
Cushing in the first week of class.
But the greater majority of average
students can no longer solely respond to “cut,” “read,” and “listen.”
This has not been an overnight occurrence. We have watched this phenomenon occur over the past decade.
It seems to us that many students suffer from ADD (Anatomy Deficit Disorder), and we have tried to create our
educational programs to address the
issues and opportunities mentioned
above. Our particular solution has
been to keep the central while modifying much of the periphery. For us,
the challenge has been to maintain a
robust dissection experience while
placing that in a dynamic, clinical
sphere by enlisting many of the best
physicians and surgeons. We have
also changed our modes of presentation to add the powerful new technologies and visualizations science has
made possible, and medicine in the
21st century will totally embrace.
For our faculty and staff, anatomy
is indeed “the once and future king” of
medical education. It is our desire to
transmit the energy and excitement of
our science and its new advances to
our students. We try to address our
changing student preparation and attitudes by creating an anatomy experience in language and modalities
they can embrace. We have had to
shake some branches— even the
tree—a little hard to do this, but we
believe our approach is working. The
following is an overview of some of
the methods we have tried in the effort.
GROSS ANATOMY: NUTS, BOLTS,
AND OUR PLACE IN THE
COSMOS
Our school, Mount Sinai School of
Medicine in New York, has recently
undergone a major curriculum reform (see also Drake, 1998). After 2
years of “spirited” discussions, we decided that gross anatomy should continue as a separate course covering, by
sequential dissection, the entire body.
Although it was a goal of our new
curriculum to “integrate” various
courses, gross anatomy was already
believed to be integrated in that many
of the clinical sciences and faculty
were already significantly involved
(see below). Our course runs from the
end of August through the end of December and consists of approximately
140 h of class time; including dissection, in-laboratory demonstrations,
lectures, and discussion groups.
Our histology and embryology
courses are taught as separate entities
from gross anatomy, although there is
considerable “cross-talk” in the planning of these. For example, our small
embryology course (20 h) covers fertilization, early stage development,
and body cavity and organ formation,
whereas aspects of head and neck
(e.g., branchial arches, skull development) are done in gross anatomy.
Similarly, aspects of the histology of
the eye are done in gross anatomy
during the day we devote to fresh (from
sheep) and cadaveric eye dissections.
Our gross anatomy course for the
2001–2002 first year medical student
The world of our students
is multi-modal and
stimulus dependent. The
concept of “come to
the lecture” or “read the
book” as a primary
directive is rapidly
becoming antiquated.
class (numbering 106) is run in conjunction with our human morphology
course for graduate students (3–10
per year). The graduate students come
from both our Graduate School of Biological Sciences at Mount Sinai and
from the New York Consortium in
Evolutionary Primatology, a National
Science Foundation–funded training
program for Physical Anthropology
students from New York University,
Columbia University, and the City
University of New York, as well as
having come from other schools such
as Rutgers University, the State University of New York at Albany, and the
University of Paris. The graduate students add a different and vibrant dimension, bringing their particular interests in development, comparative
anatomy, and evolution to our course.
Lastly, but of importance, is that
SPECIAL ARTICLE
faculty from our department play an
integral role, and are deeply involved
in all decision-making educational
bodies at our school. These include
being on Executive Curriculum and
Executive Admissions Committees to
Year and Course Organization Committees. Involvement has been very
important in allowing us to chart the
direction of our educational mission.
CLINICIANS: HERE, THERE, AND
EVERYWHERE
One of the hallmarks of our first-year
medical school course is the large
number of clinical faculty that eagerly
participates. To understand this, it is
important to understand our anatomy
program at Mount Sinai. Anatomy
here is alive and well, with many
courses on all levels running yearlong. Most of these are on the postgraduate level and often involve participants world-wide. Our faculty
oversee, organize, or teach in many of
these. Without us—no courses.
These involvements have enabled
our faculty to know and work seamlessly with “clinician-anatomists”
throughout our school—many of
whom have, or will have, secondary
appointments in anatomy. We enjoy
assisting them, and they cannot wait
to assist us. Do not underestimate
your clinical colleagues. They enjoy
teaching medical students and are often the strongest supporters of anatomy education and educators. An
added benefit to clinicians has been
that we support and aid in their advancement and promotions at our
school.
Clinicians Add the “Spice of
Life” to a “Dead Subject”
Gross anatomy laboratories have the
potential to be long and tedious when
the activity is limited simply to reading from the dissector and following
its instructions. Students are far more
motivated when clinical applications
are presented straight from the
source: the best practicing clinicians
themselves. In our gross anatomy
course, we encourage the voluntary
participation of surgeons and physicians side-by-side with the anatomy
faculty in laboratories. The clinical
SPECIAL ARTICLE
THE ANATOMICAL RECORD (NEW ANAT.) 83
latest breakthrough presented in the
news). The benefit to the gross anatomy faculty is the team-like atmosphere of working with clinical colleagues who both value teaching and
tangibly validate a practical need to
know anatomy.
ANATOMY GOES HIGH TECH:
AUDIO-VISUAL LECTURES AND
DEMONSTRATIONS
Figure 1. The ultimate “small group session” occurs at each dissecting table. When clinicians such as Dr. S. Dikman, Pathology (center), make learning fun, students remember the
important information.
faculty does not replace the anatomy
faculty, but rather augments it.
Although both clinical and anatomy
faculty move among the student tables asking anatomical questions, the
clinical faculty’s special role is to
bring a clinical focus to the material
being studied. They point out applications related to the regions being dissected and encourage and answer the
students’ medically oriented questions
(Figure 1). They give heightened purpose to learning the material. As many
of the participating clinicians have
just lectured to the class before laboratory, there is a built-in level of interest on the part of the students. They
are thrilled to have the opportunity to
meet the lecturer one-on-one and ask
their questions in the less formal setting of laboratory. Our program has
been so successful that we have many
more volunteers than we can reasonably accommodate in our laboratory.
We thus limit participation only to invited individuals. This has served two
purposes: (1) the students are exposed
to the best clinician-educators (teachers that provide a poor educational
experience are not invited back), and
(2) the invitation itself becomes an
honor and a mark of one’s value as a
clinician-educator. This coveted status has even created some competition among the clinical faculty. All
clinical lecturers are invited to labora-
tories. Additional clinicians are invited only to laboratories relevant to
their area of expertise. (If they do well
they may even earn the privilege of
giving a demonstration or lecture.)
The benefit to the students is immediate: they are exposed to dynamic individuals who bring the anatomical
sciences to life. An additional bonus is
that the students get to meet many
individuals important to their future
careers (e.g., chairmen of departments; Figure 2) or world-renown clinicians (e.g., they may have just
treated a famous person or had their
No anatomy course worth its scalpels
is complete unless it presents anatomy as viewed through the latest diagnostic and procedural imaging
technologies used by practicing clinicians today (e.g., CT, MRI, ultrasound, minimally invasive views
through scopes; see also Haines et al.,
2002). Video filmed during clinical
procedures is often used to supplement a lecture by demonstrating live
anatomy. One area of new technology
is that of viewing the body from within
through the use of various scoping procedures (e.g., video images of live patients obtained through a laparoscope,
thoracoscope, bronchoscope, arthroscope, or endoscope). These demonstrations are particularly well suited for
video projection (Figure 3).
A combination of exciting speakers
and engaging visuals is the perfect
recipe for a successful, stimulating
lecture. Although we strive to present
lecturers that transmit our enthusiasm for the subject, we also encourage
variations in presentation medium
and use of the latest audio-visual tech-
Figure 2. Chairmen do smile—at least in anatomy lab. Dr. L. Hollier, Chariman of Surgery
(left), and Dr. A. Schiller, Chairman of Pathology (right).
84 THE ANATOMICAL RECORD (NEW ANAT.)
nologies whenever possible. Digital
imaging has opened new dimensions
in presentation possibilities for the
lecturer, including animated overlays,
labeling, and embedded video. Lectures are also supplemented with
teaching tapes or compact discs (e.g.,
a demonstration dissection complemented with various visual aids) that
illustrate difficult anatomical concepts in a visually stimulating and understandable format. These materials
are often used to elaborate on regions
we do not dissect in detail in our
course due to time constraints or
those that are particularly difficult to
conceptualize. They have the added
advantage of being available for viewing in the library or on-line on our
Web site at any time.
Live closed-circuit televised projection is another medium frequently
used during our course to give a physical demonstration. The students view
the televised image on a large screen
in the auditorium and can hear and
respond to the lecturer in real-time by
means of a two-way microphone and
speaker hook-up between the auditorium and the video demonstration
room. The lecturer can use this medium to give an audio-visual tour of a
dissection in progress, perform a clinical procedure (e.g., a bone marrow
aspiration), or show close-up images
of a patient or volunteer presentation
(e.g., testing eye movements or neurological reflexes). The advantages of
the live video demonstration are
many. All students receive the same
information from the dissection/presentation in a short amount of time.
The zoom lenses of the cameras provide views equivalent to close-up, inperson viewing of the specimen. This
medium provides an interactive audio-visual experience for the students,
including the opportunity to ask questions and hear the responses of the
demonstrator.
Closed-circuit live televised projection is also used in the laboratory setting to lead real-time guided tours of
special dissections. The live guided
tours consist of a demonstrator narrating the dissection while the students simultaneously perform their
own dissections. The demonstrator
shows where to make the cuts and
points out relevant features, and then
waits for the students to perform the
same cuts. A live demonstration has
advantages over a prerecorded tape in
that it both ensures that the pace is
geared toward the students’ actual
pace of dissection, while allowing interactive questions and answers. This
approach is of particular value for
those laboratories in which we dissect
fresh animal organs, such as bovine
hearts or ovine eyes, which give a
valuable added dimension to their cadaveric dissection. We find these exercises extremely helpful, as the fresh
material demonstrates certain features of the anatomy not easily appreciated in the preserved state.
A similar arrangement is used for
demonstrating the 3-D anatomy of the
skull, with each student handling a dry
skull while following the demonstrator
on the closed-circuit televisions. This
medium also allows the demonstrator
to augment the presentation by showing close-up views of unique specimens
A combination of
exciting speakers and
engaging visuals is the
perfect recipe for a
successful, stimulating
lecture.
not available to each individual student
(e.g., teaching skulls featuring “exploded” or Beauchene cranial bones, windows cut into sinuses, ear ossicles,
painted vascular impressions, neural
foramen, deformed or immature skulls,
or even comparisons with animal
skulls). This closed-circuit medium is
flexible enough to allow demonstrators
to augment their presentation with projection slides depicting special views
(e.g., diagrams, histology, pathology) or
prefilmed video clips of surgical procedures (e.g., lens replacement, thoracotomy) transmitted to the laboratory television screens (Figure 4).
BRINGING THE FUTURE INTO THE
ANATOMY LABORATORY:
HANDS-ON LAPAROSCOPIC
DEMONSTRATIONS
As minimally invasive surgical approaches are becoming the standard in
SPECIAL ARTICLE
many areas, a new generation of clinicians needs to be trained to view the
body from within (e.g., through various
scoping procedures). We believe it is
important to introduce this method of
viewing the body in the beginning of
medical school, starting with the gross
anatomy laboratory, rather than waiting until third- or fourth-year surgery
rotations or internship/residency programs. We introduce medical students
to a hands-on demonstration of the
tools of the trade by allowing them to
see and participate in abdominal laparoscopic examinations of cadavers. The
use of cadavers allows the luxury of no
time pressure, no restrictions on the degree to which the organs can be manipulated, and the familiarity of seeing the
structures in the same state of preservation as they appear in the students’
regular cadaver dissections.
First, the students observe a demonstration of the laparoscope and surgical tools and are given a tour of the
abdomen through the TV monitor
projections from the laparoscope.
Next, each dissecting table group (4 –5
students) is allowed to handle the laparoscope and surgical equipment
(Figure 5). The surgeon directs them
in a task to find a landmark (e.g., falciform ligament) and grasp and manipulate an organ (e.g., gall bladder).
In this way, the students not only
learn to use the tools and perfect their
hand-eye coordination, but also they
learn an important lesson in teamwork. The students handling the surgical equipment must interact and coordinate
with
each
other
to
accomplish their task of manipulating
the organ correctly, while all are dependent upon the TV monitor views
afforded by the student operating the
laparoscope.
The purpose of visualizing by means
of laparoscopy goes beyond learning
the technique, however, to teaching our
students the importance of conceptualizing structure in a different manner
than that presented in standard dissection. We expect them to be able to understand the anatomy of the abdomen,
thorax, or ear when shown a laparoscopic, bronchoscopic, or otoscopic
view. Indeed, we now test them on
these views as we regularly do with CT,
MRI, or ultrasound images.
SPECIAL ARTICLE
Figure 3. Medical students are introduced
to laparoscopic views of living anatomy,
such as this image of a gall bladder from a
patient (courtesy of Dr. B. Salky, Surgery).
SCHOOL-FACULTY PARTNERSHIP:
SUPPORTING NEW INITIATIVES
Several of our teaching faculty (both
anatomists and clinicians) applied for
and received Gaisman Teaching Enhancement Awards from Mount Sinai
to develop new teaching modalities
for the gross anatomy course. One
project, spearheaded by a radiologist,
uses the latest technologies in radiographic imaging: multi-planar MRI
views. This technology enabled the
students to view the anatomy of an
extremity through sequential layers of
magnetic resonance images. The ability to stack the images and then view
them sequentially from any axis gives
the impression of “moving” through
the planes. This method helps the students visualize 3-D relationships, such
as the changing lateral to medial location of the sartorius muscle as one
views it superiorly to inferiorly in sequential transverse planes. When used
in a lecture, this methodology presents a spectacular and dynamic demonstration of the relative positions of
structures.
A second Gaisman Award to one of
our ophthalmologists funded a new
modality for visualizing anatomy of
the eye and orbit in three dimensions.
A special setup of stereo slides, projection screen, and polarized glasses allowed the students to take a virtual
3-D tour of the anatomy of the region.
This experience not only made the lecture topic exciting but also created a
distinctly fun atmosphere as the
whole class felt as if they were on a
field trip to Disney World with their
3-D glasses. It’s hard not to laugh
THE ANATOMICAL RECORD (NEW ANAT.) 85
when you witness students reaching
out to grab the ciliary ganglion as it
appears to dangle in space just a few
inches in front of their heads.
A third Gaisman Award to one of
our anatomists allowed for the development of a permanent bank of
catalogued dissections created by
anatomists, teaching assistants, and
residents. The prosections provide
alternative views to those performed
in laboratory and often feature complex or fragile structures. Although
we have had an active prosection
component of our first-year medical
school course for some time, much
of the material became unusable
over time and with handling due to
exposure, spoilage, and excessive
manipulation. The project currently
under way uses plastination of these
new dissections to preserve them
and enable their handling in a laboratory environment. Although labor
intensive to prepare the dissections,
the end products have proven most
useful. Indeed, material can be left
out without fear of desiccation, decomposition, or damage. They can
also be made available for resident
review and study. We are in the process of creating an intranet Webbased catalogue depicting images of
the available prosections so that faculty, students, and residents will
eventually be able to request access
to specific material in advance for
study, review, or demonstration use
in educational courses.
COMPUTER-ASSISTED
INSTRUCTION
Imaging technologies are an important
tool for ascertaining the anatomy of a
living person. Thus we believe it is imperative that students have familiarity
with viewing anatomy in these media.
To facilitate this, we have always had
radiograms (x-ray images) posted on
light boxes in the gross anatomy laboratory. This is of great value, as clinical
and anatomy faculty can discuss scenarios one-on-one with students. A few
years back, we developed coursespecific computer-assisted instruction
(CAI) modules, which are available in
our school library. We have now extended this to have these modules as a
Web-based educational supplement to
our course available to every student’s
personal computer. (See Heidger et al.,
2002 regarding similar web-based supplements for histology.) Our CAI program now consists of digital radiographic images that can be viewed with
or without labels (Figure 6). The students use the CAI medium to learn, review, and test themselves on radiographic anatomy.
A new initiative for next year will be
interactive CAI programs based on the
creative work of a new junior faculty
member who has developed 3-D rep-
Figure 4. Dr. A.G. Thomas, obstetrics and gynecology, demonstrating videos in the laboratory, showing female reproductive tract anatomy by means of laparoscopic viewing in
live patients.
86 THE ANATOMICAL RECORD (NEW ANAT.)
Figure 5. Dr. D. Herron, Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, guides students in operating
the laparoscope and surgical instruments on a cadaver in the laboratory.
resentations of the paranasal sinuses
(Figure 7). Students viewing representations of these spaces can rotate
them along multiple axes. These will
eventually be used to augment in-laboratory endoscopic examination of
the region in cadavers. This approach
to visualizing such traditionally difficult to see spaces will considerably
enhance our students’ appreciation of
the material.
LEARNING FROM THEIR PEERS:
THE VALUE OF THE TEACHING
ASSISTANT
Our mission as teachers is to reach
out, connect with, and enlist students.
We all know that faculty can reach
many students, but not all. Some students are intimidated by us, too nervous because they actually like us (it
can happen), or love the material and
do not wish to appear weak. One of
the greatest vehicles to connect with
students can be by means of their own
peers.
In addition to the above, the greatest education in anatomy (or any
other course) a student can have is to
teach it. That’s when you really learn
anatomy.
From this concept was born our
teaching assistant (TA) programs,
which have become some of the most
sought-after electives in our school.
These programs have been so success-
ful that, in our redone “new” curriculum, time has been specifically allotted
to allow second-year medical students
the time to be our anatomy TAs. Of our
class of 106, we regularly have approximately 30 (sometimes 40) applicants
competing for 15 positions (Figure 8).
Our TA program has grown to have
several components. First, our second-year students apply to be TAs and
our faculty chooses from the pool.
Our medical students can apply to be
“in-class” TAs, radiographic-CAI TAs,
or prosection TAs. TAs in the latter
two categories may come to lab if they
wish (most do). They are not, however, mandated to do so, as their time
SPECIAL ARTICLE
is being spent in updating/creating
CAI modules or preparing and demonstrating prosections, respectively.
Due to the success of the secondyear TA program, we instituted a Senior TA experience this past year. In
this program, the faculty invite a select group of former TAs (now in the
fourth year) and offer them the opportunity to serve as Senior TAs. We
chose one student last year and two
students this year. These TAs have different responsibilities, including assisting in planning the course and in
creating and administering examinations. They also give several review
sessions to the class.
Our second- and fourth-year TAs
have many roles. One of the most important is as visible, positive role models for the entering class. As one of our
students told us: “Seeing the army of
TAs at the outset made me feel that if
so many people came back, anatomy
couldn’t be as bad as I feared.” TAs are
successful examples that our first-year
students strive to emulate. They are
positive “Big Sibs.”
Our TAs also serve a valuable role in
assisting us in remediating students.
After initial meetings with the course
director, students experiencing difficulty are assigned to TAs. Those in
jeopardy of failure are assigned to our
Senior TAs. The role of our TAs in this
regard has been most successful and
has been an important factor in enabling some of our students to pass
the course.
An additional role of all the second-
Figures 6. Important advances in imaging are new and powerful teaching tools. Computed tomographic images (such as this thorax image) are standard in most anatomy
courses.
SPECIAL ARTICLE
THE ANATOMICAL RECORD (NEW ANAT.) 87
UPWARD AND ONWARD
Figure 7. Our students are introduced to new technologies, such as the three-dimensional
image of the paranasal sinuses of one of our anatomy faculty members (image courtesy of
Dr. S. Márquez).
year TAs is that they present our largescale examination reviews. These presentations are an intensive and
extensive series of area reviews and
practice practicals. Their performance
in these is monitored by the course director and is part of the TAs assessment. These reviews are greatly appreciated by the class and afford a different
level of interaction from that of faculty
run sessions.
TAs serve an important role in the
planning for the next year’s course.
They are, by definition, a group of positive and concerned colleagues-to-be
whose feedback is honest and constructively given. This coming year,
for example, we will be redoing the
anatomy guide we give to the students
as a combined effort of the TAs and
faculty, rather than as instructions
solely from faculty as in prior years.
They see things we cannot, and thus
their eyes will enable us to see further
than ours can.
Lastly, but of great importance, is
the role our TAs have as school-wide
ambassadors for anatomy. At any
one time in our school, there are at
least 45 TAs (current and former)
plus additional residents and faculty
who have been TAs. Our TAs serve
on many student body and school
committees and have been wonderful, positive, and powerful advocates.
Teachers of anatomy are in the privileged position of being at the forefront
of the revolution in visualization. We
are, at the same time, learning to walk
with a new generation of bright students, albeit a bit different from us
and those of our generation. These are
opportunities and challenges, which
may seem daunting, but at the same
time offer great rewards.
We have learned many lessons from
our experiences at Mount Sinai.
Among them is that, if you build a
strong, positive team of anatomists,
clinicians, and TAs, you will present
your subject and course from a position of strength. The value of anatomy
should need no explanation—yet in
the budget-conscious environments
we all live in, everything is under the
microscope. Anatomists can only advocate so far for their “vested” interests. Clinical faculty, particularly of
senior clout, can often speak with
great and potent force. Indeed, to be
maximally successful, anatomy programs cannot hide in isolation, but
must be at the forefront of integration
of material and a home for interdisciplinary teaching and learning.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Success in our institutional anatomy
programs is due to the hard work of
our faculty, teaching fellows, teaching
Figure 8. Anatomy is a “family affair.” Teaching Assistant J. Mueller (right) is watched by a
special guest— his grandfather, Mr. C. Mueller (center) of Mount Sinai’s Board of Trustees.
88 THE ANATOMICAL RECORD (NEW ANAT.)
assistants, and staff. Special appreciation is due to other members of our
core faculty: Drs. M. Levitan, K. Mak,
S. Márquez, and M. McGinnis; the
many clinical anatomy faculty, particularly: Drs. A. Bender, G. Chubak, S.
Dikman, E. Flatow, D. Friedland, M.
Gagner, P. Gannon, H. Gilbert, K.
Hague, M. Harris, M. Hausman, D.
Herron, L. Hollier, S. Kaiser, N.
Kheck, A. Kirschenbaum, M. Klein,
M. Klion, I. Kreel, W. Lawson, P.
Lento, R. Litwak, G. Mannor, S.
Moore, J. Moshirpur, T. Naidich, M.
Padilla, N. Perin, M. Poon, L. Raacke,
J. Rabinowitz, C. Rosendorff, B.
Salky, M. Schaffler, A. Schiller, L. So-
bel, P. Som, R. Steinhagen, L. Stone,
M. Swartz, A.G. Thomas, M. Urken,
and P. Woo; and our former and current teaching assistants. We are also
greatly appreciative for the efforts of
the staff of the Center for Anatomy
and Functional Morphology: Ms. M.
Woodson (administrator), Ms. B.
O’Donnell, and Ms. P. Moore-Akonnor; and our hardworking faculty and
staff of the Department of Medical
Education: Dr. P. McArdle, Mr. J. Tedeschi, Mr. S. Yuen, and Mr. H.
Supoyo; Mr. G. Puglisi and his crew in
the Department of Telemedicine; and
Mr. F. Miranda in Audio-Visual Services. Our anatomy educational pro-
SPECIAL ARTICLE
grams would not be possible without
the heartfelt support of our Dean for
Medical Education, Dr. L. Smith.
LITERATURE CITED
Drake RL. 1998. Anatomy education in a
changing medical curriculum. Anat Rec
(New Anat) 253:28 –31.
Haines DE, Hutchins JB, Lynch JC. 2002.
Medical neurobiology: Do we teach neurobiology in a format that is relevant to
the clinical setting? Anat Rec (New Anat)
269:99 –106.
Heidger PM, Dee F, Consoer D, Leaven T,
Kreiter C. 2002. An integrated approach
to teaching and testing in histology with
real and virtual imaging. Anat Rec (New
Anat) 269:107–112.
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