• Vol. 37 No. 12, 998–1001
  • 15 December 2008

Use of Knowledge-sharing Web-based Portal in Gross and Microscopic Anatomy



Introduction: Changes in worldwide healthcare delivery require review of current medical school curricula structure to develop learning outcomes that ensures mastery of knowledge and clinical competency. In the last 3 years, Mayo Medical School implemented outcomes-based curriculum to encompass new graduate outcomes.

Materials and Methods: Standard courses were replaced by 6-week clinically-integrated didactic blocks separated by student-self selected academic enrichment activities. Gross and microscopic anatomy was integrated with radiology and genetics respectively. Laboratory components include virtual microscopy and anatomical dissection. Students assigned to teams utilise computer portals to share learning experiences. High-resolution computed tomographic (CT) scans of cadavers prior to dissection were made available for correlative learning between the cadaveric material and radiologic images.

Results: Students work in teams on assigned presentations that include histology, cell and molecular biology, genetics and genomic using the Nexus Portal, based on DrupalEd, to share their observations, reflections and dissection findings.

Conclusions: New generation of medical students are clearly comfortable utilising web-based programmes that maximise their learning potential of conceptually difficult and labor intensive courses. Team-based learning approach emphasising the use of knowledge-sharing computer portals maximises opportunities for students to master their knowledge and improve cognitive skills to ensure clinical competency.

The extensive use of and the rate at which medical technology is becoming an integral force in medicine has impacted on the way in which physicians are being trained to practise within this new environment. Medical informatics and the era of interacting over web-based systems require competencies that need to be acquired over a formative period during the medical curriculum.

This article is available only as a PDF. Please click on “Download PDF” on top to view the full article.