Is the supply of continuing education in the anatomical sciences keeping up with the demand? Results of a national survey

Academic Article


  • Continuing education (CE) is an essential element in the life-long learning of health care providers and educators. Despite the importance of the anatomical sciences in the training and practice of clinicians, no studies have examined the need/state of anatomy-related CE nationally. This study assessed the current landscape of CE in the anatomical sciences to contextualize preferences for CE, identify factors that influence the perceived need for CE, and examine the association between supply and demand. Surveys were distributed to educators in the anatomical sciences, practicing physical therapists (PTs), and anatomy training programs across the United States. Twenty-five percent (9 of 36) of training programs surveyed offered CE, certificates, or summer series programs related to anatomy. The majority of PTs (92%) and anatomy educators (81%) felt they had a potential or actual need for anatomy related CE with the most popular formats being online videos/learning modules and intensive, hands-on workshops. The most commonly perceived barriers to participating in CE for both groups were program location, cost, and duration, while educators also perceived time of year as a significant factor. Logistic regression analyses revealed that no investigated factor influenced the need or desire for PTs to engage in anatomy related CE (P ≤ 0.124), while teaching experience and the highest level of learner taught significantly influenced the perceived need among anatomy educators (P < 0.001). Overall, quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed a robust need for CE that strategically integrates anatomy with areas of clinical practice and education. Anat Sci Educ 11: 225–235. © 2017 American Association of Anatomists.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wilson AB; Barger JB; Perez P; Brooks WS
  • Start Page

  • 225
  • End Page

  • 235
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 3