Studentsʼ use of anatomy modules in problem-based medical education at McMaster University
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BACKGROUND: The McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences has a collection of self-directed anatomy learning modules that are available to help medical students prepare for tutorial discussions of health care problems. How students use this resource has never been adequately surveyed. METHOD: The rates of, patterns of, and reasons for module use among the 200 students in their first and second years were surveyed by questionnaire in late 1992. Responses were analyzed with contingency tables. RESULTS: Questionnaires were completed by 80 students (52 in their first year and 28 in their second). Anatomy module use depended not only on the students' levels in the program (i.e., curriculum years), but also on their pre-medical backgrounds in biology. The students did not use modules because their tutors and clinical-skills preceptors required it. The students who worked through modules considered themselves better prepared for tutorials, where their learning was evaluated. CONCLUSION: Though use of this resource varied among individuals, most McMaster students believed that module use helped them to make useful contributions to tutorial discussions.
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