Campbell Co-Hosts American Association of Clinical Anatomists Regional Conference

CHAPEL HILL – Six faculty from Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) served as presenters at the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) Regional Conference hosted at UNC School of Medicine this fall.  Co-hosted by North Carolina’s five medical schools, the goal of the conference was to share innovative teaching methods in gross anatomy, histology, pathology, ultrasound, and general didactic instruction with medical educators from across the state.  Campbell faculty hosted conference sessions on topics regarding effective clinical anatomy teaching including the use of ultrasound which Campbell has been among innovative teachers for the past few years.  In addition to contributions in planning the conference, CUSOM representatives developed workshops on the use of synthetic cadavers, ultrasound, and histopathology to complement traditional gross anatomic dissection. 

“The regional meetings give attendees a chance to highlight research in clinically oriented anatomy,” said Dr. Terry Mitchell, Director of Gross Anatomy for Campbell.  “This year a focus on medical education gave Campbell faculty and students an opportunity to share innovative aspects of our curriculum.”

Second year medical student Zachary Clark and Drs. Brenseke, Reisner, and Siddiqui presented a workshop entitled “Teaching Histology in the 21st Century: The Use of Cadaveric Case Studies,” highlighting the collaboration between CUSOM’s Anatomy and Pathology departments in which students develop case studies based on gross and microscopic examination of lesions encountered during anatomy dissection.

“The Conference was a great collaborative event,” said Dr. Adnan Siddiqui, Clinical Chair of Pathology at CUSOM.  “Our workshop was well received by students and faculty from other schools expressing enthusiastic interest in the novel teaching methods employed by our institution to integrate the basic and clinical sciences early in the pre-clinical curriculum, and Zachary Clark provided an outstanding overview of this unique approach to teaching the anatomical sciences.”

“It was refreshing to see the excitement of those that attended our presentation,” said student doctor Clark. “Most of the attendees were interested in the possibility of implementing similar projects into their curricula. The theme of working to make the anatomy curricula more progressive by removing human cadavers and implementing virtual or synthetic cadavers seemed present throughout the conference, and our presentation showed the value of technology being used in balance with traditional human cadavers that provide students with a hands on, active approach to learning anatomy, histology and pathology.”

Campbell University’s Collaborative Anatomy and Pathology (CAP) program presents a unique opportunity allowing students a chance to participate in the scientific process early in their medical careers.  During the first year gross anatomy course, students note pathology in their cadavers, and faculty take samples for further analysis.  Data collected from histological preparations, genomics, and gross observation are used to create cases studies, which are presented at local, regional, and national conferences.

The small group breakout sessions led by Campbell faculty at the conference offered attendees the opportunity to participate in learning activities utilizing virtual microscopy to gain hands-on experience interpreting normal and pathologic specimens collected by the CAP project.

Drs. Mitchell, Christiansen, and VanCura were among the faculty who led the “Ultrasound Imaging in the Anatomical Instruction of Health Care Professionals” workshop where participants rotated through stations focused on the use of ultrasound in examining specific areas of the body as well as working with a SynDaver – a synthetic cadaver.

Campbell anatomy faculty are currently working with SynDaver Labs to validate the accuracy of synthetic cadaver models.  These full size models possess vessels, nerves, and organs with realistic tissue properties.  In addition to being a useful adjunct in medical education, SynDavers are also appropriate for teaching at the undergraduate and high school level.  Attendees of the workshop were able to dissect the artificial cadaver, use ultrasound, and discuss the potential use in higher education.

“Ultrasound technology is increasingly easy to use, powerful, and inexpensive making it more enticing as a point-of-care tool,” continued Dr. Mitchell. “Medical students at Campbell University learn ultrasound technique in hands-on training beginning in their first year.  The ultrasound workshop allowed each medical school the chance to demonstrate their curriculum, while gaining new ideas from other programs.”

“The conference was a great opportunity for Campbell University to demonstrate integration of ultrasound into the anatomy educational space,” said Dr. Greg Christiansen. “It was a wonderful to share our experience with like minded universities who sought to improve the educational efficiency of their training program.  We demonstrated the power of using ultrasound in teaching dynamic anatomy which highlights the osteopathic concepts of form and function. Our students served as models for an exemplary program and then participated in a panel discussion on how to translate their success to other institutions. Campbell can be proud of the success which has highlighted the institution as a model for other programs.”