Advanced Clinical Application of Anatomy

Credits: 4 CREDITS (Non-Clinical Elective)
Sites: HMS
Director(s): Craig Lillehei, Robert Shamberger, Dana Stearns, Trudy Van Houten
Prerequisites: Gross Anatomy; Completion of PCE preferred, but not required.
Offered: November and January
Location: HMS - Harvard Medical School (0)
Open to Exclerks: No (HMS only)
Description: The Advanced Clinical Anatomy elective offers an in-depth study and review of human anatomy and its applications to clinical practice in all disciplines. Clearly, all physicians regardless of specialty access their anatomical knowledge daily when caring for patients at the bedside. This advanced course provides an opportunity for students to review this material through the eyes of a clinician such as a surgeon, obstetrician/gynecologist, interventional radiologist and primary care provider. A relevant daily bibliography is available for review regarding each procedure. The sessions are “case-based” around a particular procedure and begin with a brief presentation by a visiting surgeon with particular expertise in the procedure. A brief discussion of the pathophysiology, diagnosis, radiographic imaging, relevant anatomy and treatment alternatives is provided. After a brief break, students then proceed to the laboratory where they perform actual operative procedures with surgical instruments on donor cadavers under the supervision of practicing surgeons from across the Harvard system. You will learn valuable techniques and management strategies while reviewing the anatomic relationships critical to the safe performance of the procedure. Examples include the following: Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic cancer), hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy (for endometrial carcinoma), inguinal and femoral hernia repairs, correction of congenital malrotation, bladder cystectomy for diffuse transitional cell carcinoma, carotid endarterectomy, anterior and posterior exposure for hip replacement, arthroscopic knee exploration for torn cruciate ligament, arthroscopic exploration of the shoulder for rotator cuff injuries and many others. Laboratory teaching will be provided by the core faculty alongside specialist surgeons who perform these procedures routinely in their practice. Throughout the course students develop clinical skills in a safe and structured environment preparing them for clinical performance in their future “audition” rotations, sub-internships and future postgraduate training. When this course was last offered in the spring of 2020, all students rated it as excellent and multiple students described it as the “best course they had taken at HMS”! Many also noted the close interactions and support provided by the senior faculty and their commitment to teaching throughout the course. Some typical comments from students on the evaluations included, “This course is an unparalleled opportunity to explore the human body in a way that is tactile and 3-dimensional now that many of us have more experience and focused questions than in first-year anatomy.” Another student noted, “Phenomenal faculty- are by far the most dedicated and enthusiastic I’ve had the privilege of working with at HMS. They organized an incredible course, brought in great guest lecturers, and were present for every dissection. They were the perfect balance of helpful without doing the procedures for us. They also went above and beyond to make sure we had adequate prep materials and that our outside materials lined up well with their goals.” A third student said, “This was an exceptional course. The three core instructors were fantastic and the care and dedication they put into this course was evident. I am applying into a non-surgical specialty and this was without a doubt one of the best courses I have taken in my time at HMS. They created a warm and inviting atmosphere that was perfectly suited to learning. . . . This class gave me an opportunity to synthesize all of the anatomy that I have learned in medical school, while learning so much more and providing great clinical context to the anatomic relationships.” Finally, a student wrote, “The teaching was incredible. The course directors put together an amazing course and recruited some of the most talented surgeons and experts in their fields to come lecture. The faculty and guest lecturers gave us useful literature to read, tied the cases to general medical principles, and shared their passion for their fields. This experience is unmatched in all of my other experiences at HMS.” Course Manager: Tim Gailius
Incorporation of Basic Science Content and Evidence-Based Medicine:
Students complete over 80 hours of laboratory anatomical dissection, case presentations (including an extensive review of diagnostic data) , surgical strategic planning and invasive procedures on cadaveric Donors.