Assessing the impact of the Graduate Certificate in Anatomical Sciences Instruction: A post-degree survey

April Richardson-Hatcher, Brian MacPherson, Douglas Gould, Jennifer Brueckner-Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


There are few graduate programs available for pursuing a doctorate in anatomy where students gain specific training in gross anatomy dissection and the responsibilities of a medical educator. In light of this fact, the University of Kentucky created a Graduate Certificate in Anatomical Sciences Instruction in 2006. This 12-credit hour curriculum includes detailed training in gross anatomy and/or neuroscience courses, practicum experiences, a seminar class in pedagogical literature, and a course in educational strategies for the anatomical sciences. The award of certificate completion affirms that the candidate has demonstrated faculty-supervised proficiency in anatomy dissection, instruction in anatomy topics, and teaching strategies for anatomy. Seventeen graduate students have earned the certificate since its inception; nine students accepted teaching positions in anatomy following their graduate training and currently nine certificate graduates have assistant (six) or associate (three) professor positions in academia. In 2016, an anonymous survey including Likert-style and open-ended questions was emailed to all certificate graduates. Graduates favorably responded (each question averaged 4.4 or greater out of 5) that the certificate increased their awareness of teaching-faculty responsibilities, adequately prepared them for teaching-related duties, and positively contributed toward their first employment. Graduates indicated that the lecturing and dissection experience, awareness of faculty responsibilities, and job preparation (e.g., teaching philosophy development) were the most helpful aspects of the certificate. These results indicate that the Graduate Certificate in Anatomical Sciences Instruction is viewed by its graduates and their employers as a valuable teaching credential that can be attained alongside a basic science degree. Anat Sci Educ 11: 516–524.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-524
Number of pages9
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • cadaver dissection
  • graduate education
  • graduate training
  • gross anatomy education
  • medical educator
  • professional development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Embryology


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