A quality improvement apprenticeship: Gross anatomy in the time of Covid-19

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1 Scopus citations


The study of anatomy is a team-driven field in which anatomy instruction occurs in small groups in the laboratory with one faculty member guiding students through each anatomical region. One laboratory experience may include several small group instructors in one simultaneous learning session. In comparison, the education of future gross anatomists often happens in an apprenticeship model, where the optimal learning outcomes are met through training with an experienced mentor. It was the vision of the authors to further their education through initiating an inter-institutional exchange to apprentice with innovative mentors in order to bring new ideas back to their own gross anatomy courses. The Southeastern Conference, a consortium of the Universities in the Southern region of the United States often associated with intercollegiate sports, has a host of academic initiatives in addition to the athletic emphasis. The Southeastern Conference Faculty Travel Program is one mechanism by which the organization promotes scholarly excellence. In this case, the Faculty Travel Program provided a way for authors from the University of Kentucky to visit a nearby institution, Vanderbilt University, and learn from like-minded anatomy educators, with the goal of incorporating changes in their courses geared toward quality improvement. After this implementation, positive themes emerged in the student feedback on course evaluations. However, the collaboration was interrupted by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. This article examines the strengths of interinstitutional apprenticeship and the benefits of such practices in a time of accelerated change in anatomical instruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-979
Number of pages10
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Association for Anatomy.


  • Covid-19 pandemic
  • apprenticeship
  • faculty development
  • gross anatomy education
  • medical education
  • mentoring
  • scholarship of teaching and learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Embryology


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