Training Gross Anatomy Educators: Success of a Radiology Focused Continuing Education Course

Academic Article


  • Continuing education courses provide current and new educators the chance to refresh prior knowledge and acquire new information and skills that can be translated into their own classrooms. In previous years, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has offered didactic and dissection gross anatomy courses to contribute to their training. Currently, emphasis has been placed on including radiology in gross anatomy instruction, however, most educators lack training in this area. OBJECTIVE: Our objective for this study was to create a course focused on providing anatomy educators the knowledge and confidence to identify gross anatomy structures on both normal and abnormal radiology images. METHODS: Educators registered for a two-day online course through ZOOM (IRB-300007229). Instruction consisted of an introduction to the respective radiology modality, X-ray, CT and MR or Ultrasound, and identifying gross anatomy structures on normal images. Next, attendees worked through several case studies of different diseases and injuries in an interactive session. A 10 question pre- and post-test was completed by attendees for each day of instruction on a voluntary basis. The tests were graded for correctness. Following the completion of the course, attendees were provided a survey to determine their perceptions. All responses and consent were collected through Qualtrics Inc., and further processing and analysis was conducted through Excel. RESULTS: There were 26 attendees to the course, where most reported primary employment as faculty at a university (43.8%, 7/16), community college (37.5%, 6/16), or high school (12.5%, 2/16). Attendees mostly instructed undergraduates (68.8%, 11/16), followed by high school students (43.8%, 7/16), nursing students (25%, 4/16), and other health professional students. The majority of attendees reported having no prior radiology experience (87.5%, 14/16), however, 2 attendees (12.5%, 2/16) did have prior experience. The course showed a positive increase in the performance of the attendees when comparing the pre- and post-test scores, where there was a 67.2% (n=11) increase in correct answers from the day with X-ray, CT and MR instruction, while the Ultrasound day had a 62.7% (n=12) increase in correct answers. Overwhelmingly, attendees reported the course was effective. Attendees expressed that the course greatly increased (56.2%, 9/16) or increased (43.8%, 7/16) their knowledge of radiology. They also noted their confidence in radiology was greatly increased (25%, 4/16), increased (56.2%, 9/16) or did not change (18.8%, 3/16). Though gross anatomy was not the focus of the course, attendees did report their knowledge of anatomy either greatly increased (18.8%, 3/16), increased (68.8%, 11/16), or remained unchanged (12.5%, 2/16). CONCLUSION: Overall, attendees reported an improvement in identifying gross anatomical structures in both normal and abnormal images. They also reported that the course was effective in increasing their knowledge and confidence in radiology. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPLICATION: Collectively, these results support the evidence that continuing education courses significantly impact educators. Further development of continuing education courses is necessary to benefit educators, their students, and our future health professionals.
  • Published In

  • The FASEB Journal  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Edwards D; Resuehr D
  • Volume

  • 36