A preliminary assessment of the fifth-year chiropractic students' knowledge of anatomy

Goran Strkalj, Tania Schroder, Nalini Pather*, Veli Solyali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Anatomy has been at the foundation of medical students' training. In recent decades, medical programs in many countries have undergone major reform in both pedagogy and content. These reforms generated intense debates, focusing mainly on the way the new programs affected medical graduates' knowledge of anatomy and their clinical capabilities. Anatomy, however, is not only core to medicine, but also to a number of allied and complementary health disciplines. While the evaluation of anatomy teaching and learning in the medical programs has been heavily scrutinized, anatomy education in the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions, including those, such as chiropractic, in which anatomy has traditionally been one of the main preclinical subjects, has been less frequently evaluated. Objectives: The study aimed to make a preliminary assessment of the final year chiropractic students' knowledge of anatomy using the "carpal bone test." Subjects and methods: The testing was conducted on the final-year chiropractic students at Macquarie University in 2009. In this test, the students were given 5 minutes to label an illustration of the bony skeleton of the carpal region. The results of this assessment were then compared to results of previously published surveys using the "carpal bone test." Results: A total of 84 students participated in the study. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of students identified all eight bones, while 60% of students identified five or more carpal bones. The most frequent correctly identified bone was the pisiform, followed by the scaphoid bone (82% and 74% of students, respectively). The trapezium and trapezoid bones were least frequently identified: both by 52% of students each. These results were generally better than those of the previously tested final-year medical students. Discussion and conclusions: The importance of anatomy in chiropractors' education has been generally acknowledged. This study suggests that the comparatively high number of hours devoted to anatomy in Macquarie University chiropractic curriculum and underpinning of clinical skills to anatomy knowledge in the senior year have increased retention of anatomy knowledge. The study, preliminary in nature, has also recognized the need for more detailed assessment of teaching and learning of the basic medical sciences in chiropractic and other CAM disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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