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Course Directors

Course Description


The course has three threads.

  1. Dissection of the human body beginning early in the first year. The overarching objective is to prepare the class on the structures and relationships within the human body as they begin the study of medicine. There are 17 labs beginning with the chest and abdomen and finishing with the extremities in the spring and the head in the fall of the second year.
  2. Lectures on regional anatomy are presented at the beginning of the master courses. These cover introductory topics as well as clinical cases. Labs also include short, small group sessions linked to the dissection topics.
  3. Embryology is taught in parallel with the master courses. Lectures on early fetal development are given during genes and development. Lectures on development of the heart, abdomen and reproductive system follow with the master courses.


Inquiry based learning in lab with a flipped curriculum. A series of 21 iBook form the backbone of the course. Each book has a series of short lectures followed by captioned videos and step by step instructions. The books end with multiple choice and “drag and drop” questions. The books also cover radiology.

The lectures and workshops reinforce and advance anatomic learning within master courses and the laboratory.



  • Practical lab self-assessments and written self-assessments


  • Lab practical exams and written qualifiers

Learning Objectives

  • Use anatomical/clinical terminology to discuss the anatomical basis of function in health and in disease. Demonstrate skills in communication and teaching.
  • Define key words listed in labs 1-14 and relate named structures to one another in terms of structure-function, nearest neighbor and connectivity relationships. Relate these structures to palpable and radiographic landmarks.
  • Explain the anatomical basis for the clinical procedures described in labs 1-14 and include the consequences of injury to nearby structures at various stages of the procedure.
  • Demonstrate skilled observation by interpreting observations to find and identify anatomical structures on your donor and diagnostic imaging studies. Develop the habits-of-mind of problem-solving.
  • Interpret plain films, CT’s MRI’s and anatomical sections, as demonstrated by identifying and tracing structures through stacks of images. Combine information from multiple images to make identifications and solve simple clinical problems.
  • Use embryology to explain the patterns of vascularization and innervation of the heart, gastrointestinal tract, urogenital tract, body wall, larynx and thyroid
  • Identify the multiple blood supplies for each organ and the limbs and explain how anastomotic connections protect against disease or can be exploited in surgical procedures. Identify pulse points and common sites of access for vascular procedure.
  • Describe how the anatomy of lymphatic drainage is used to diagnose cancers and infections in each region of the body. Explain the anatomic basis of clinical lymph node dissections related to neck, breast, lung, GI, renal and pelvic cancers.
  • Integrate peripheral nerve pathways with the central pathways studied in neuroscience and use this information to diagnose simple neuropathies.
  • Use neuromuscular anatomy to interpret the results of peripheral nerve exams including all the cranial nerves, nerves of the brachial plexus and nerves of the lumbosacral plexus. Diagnose simple neuropathies of the head and neck and of the upper limbs.
  • Describe the autonomic regulation of the heart, respiratory tract, alimentary tract, urinary bladder, eyes, and vasculature by including afferent and efferent pathways. Predict the intended and unintended consequences of regional nerve blocks.
  • Develop a professional attitude to group work and human dissection that includes thorough preparation, active participation in forwarding group learning, and respect and compassion for other group members.