Research Mentor Name

Sarkis Kouyoumjian

Research Mentor Email Address

Institution / Department

Wayne State University School of Medicine Anatomy Department

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Background: Cadaver dissection remains integrated into the curriculum of numerous medical schools. Aspiring physicians acquire the opportunity to work directly with the human body, which is intricate and tangible, yet have minimal exposure to certain procedural skills applicable­­ to patient care during the first year of their medical training. Our aim was to incorporate the cadaver as part of a process to introduce procedures to a class of first year medical students in order to improve their confidence and skill in performing these procedures in patients.

Methods: During medical gross anatomy at Wayne State University School of Medicine, three workshops involving common procedures performed in the emergency department were integrated into the cadaver dissection laboratory. Each educational workshop began with a short demonstration or a short step-by-step informational video on the focused procedure. The educators consisted of emergency medicine residents, third and fourth year medical student mentors, and emergency medicine attendings. Educators directed the hands-on procedure practice on the cadavers and provided real time feedback. Students completed pre and post questionnaires with scales ranging from one to five to assess the impact of the workshop on their abilities and confidence for the specified procedures. The three sessions included intraosseous (IO) line placement, joint aspiration, and chest tube placement.

Results: A total of 108 students participated in the IO line training workshop, 143 students in the arthrocentesis simulation and 79 students in the chest tube session. Prior to the hands on sessions, 0 students (0%) had performed an IO line on a simulated patient, 2 students (1.4%) had performed an arthrocentesis on a simulated patient, and 4 students (5.1%) had performed a chest tube on a simulated patient. The Likert scales were viewed as ordinal variables (categorical variables) and thus the data was analyzed by Wilcoxon signed-rank test (non-parametric paired t-test). The student’s confidence in performing the specified procedure improved with a statistically significant difference in the IO, arthrocentesis and chest tube workshops (p = <0.0001). There was a statistically significant increase in the perception of adequate training in all three sessions (p = < 0.0001). The self-perceived skill in performing the described procedures had a statistically significant improvement for post training session in students participating in the IO, arthrocentesis and chest tube workshops (p = < 0.0001). Lastly, after the hands-on educational sessions, a median of 4.5 out of 5 and mode of 5 out of 5 recommended other medical students participate in the IO simulation activity, and a median and mode of 5 out of 5 recommended the arthrocentesis and chest tube workshops.

Conclusion: Workshops introducing procedural simulation in the cadaver to first year medical students improved confidence levels, perception of being adequately trained, and self-evaluated skill. Cadavers are effective models for training medical students in common emergency medical procedures. Integrating workshops into existing medical gross anatomy courses may translate into higher procedural success rates in the clinical setting, as well as stimulate interest in understanding normal anatomy and common variants encountered in practice.


Medicine and Health Sciences