Lane A, Williams S, Keiser S, Elde J. Body of knowledge: using prosections to teach pelvic anatomy in OB/GYN residency - a randomized study. GHS Proceedings. 2017,2(1):32-37


Background: As medical schools continue to revamp educational curricula, lab-based anatomic education is often eliminated because of high costs and time constraints. The result is a new generation of residents with a knowledge deficit in pelvic anatomy. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a 1-hour structured review of pelvic anatomy using cadaveric prosections on written and practical examinations of pelvic anatomy.
Methods: All OB/GYN (obstetrics and gynecology) resident physicians at Greenville Health System took baseline written and practical examinations and were then randomized into 2 groups within postgraduate year (PGY) levels. Both groups completed a self-directed reading assignment. The intervention group received an additional 1-hour structured review of pelvic anatomy using prosections prepared from the same cadavers used by our medical students. Both groups then completed follow-up examinations.
Results: Fifteen of 23 residents completed the study. The intervention group showed a significant improvement over the control group in practical exam scores (P = .01), but not on written (P = .77) or combined scores (P = .09). Within groups, the intervention group showed significant improvement in its combined (P < .01) and practical scores (P < .01) compared to that group’s baseline exam. The control group showed significant improvement in its combined (P < .01), written (P = .04), and practical (P = <.01) scores compared to that group’s baseline exam.
Conclusions: We demonstrated the ability of a straightforward educational intervention that affects anatomic practical exam performance. We also showed that all residents benefited from an anatomy review. This study is important in its comparison of 2 modalities of resident anatomic education. Use of 1 guided prosection session provided a measurable benefit. Additionally, a simple reading assignment on pelvic anatomy was beneficial and should not be overlooked in our resource-intensive age.

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