The desire and drive to integrate the many components of a modern
day medical curriculum poses a considerable dilemma for academics.
One such task is the integration of anatomical and clinical skills education.
Medical students at the Graduate School of Medicine, University of
Wollongong attended, within a two week Case Based Learning scenario,
two practical based anatomy sessions on limb musculature and peripheral
nerves and a clinical skills session on the neurological examination
of the upper and lower limbs. To design a series of sessions to provide
the student with a sound understanding of the relevant anatomy and
the practical skills required for a competent examination, with the overall
clinical learning objective based around peripheral nerve lesions.
Anatomy sessions occurred within the wet lab and utilized a station format,
which students rotated through for the 2 hr session. Students
completed three tasks at each station: muscle and nerve identification,
myotome distribution (motor supply) and dermatome distribution (sensory
reception). Learning tasks were supported with cadaveric specimens,
models, and diagrams. Clinical skills sessions comprised of a
brief discussion of the importance of the neurological examination of
the upper and lower limbs, its technique and the relevant anatomical
and physiological principles, a tutor demonstration of the examination
with running commentary and explanation and then extended student
practice of the examination technique on each other and patient volunteers.
By contextualising medical curriculum content, through the integration
of anatomy and clinical skills, overall student performance in
clinical competency examinations were enhanced.