Anatomic Body Painting as a Teaching Tool in Physician Assistant Education
- 21 Downloads
Anatomic body painting (ABP) is a teaching tool utilized in many countries but not well known in the USA. Minimal research exists on ABP’s efficacy as a teaching tool. The high cost of anatomy labs, limited cadaver availability, and short timeline of physician assistant (PA) curricula make ABP an attractive resource for PA programs. Elon University has used ABP as an adjunct teaching tool in its PA anatomy curriculum since matriculation of its first class in 2013.
This paper describes how and why ABP was incorporated into Elon’s PA anatomy curriculum, details adaptations made for incorporation into an American anatomy curriculum and offers an assessment of student acceptability of ABP as a teaching method at a US Physician Assistant program.
Literature search was performed assessing use of ABP at other programs. A survey comparing student perceptions of ABP to cadaveric dissection was completed by participants in two (n = 29; n = 32) ABP sessions.
Key features of Elon’s ABP method and rationale for their inclusion are described. Cost for starting Elon’s ABP program was approximately $421.00. Student perceptions of ABP compared favorably to cadaveric dissection in perceived effectiveness, acceptance, and usefulness in understanding clinical correlations. Data suggest that ABP may make participants less uncomfortable physically and/or psychologically than cadaveric dissection.
ABP is an affordable adjunct to anatomy instruction that is well accepted by students and assists in understanding clinical concepts/correlations. The study is limited by small size and inclusion of one study center; further study is warranted.
KeywordsAnatomic body painting Anatomy Physician assistant Education Curriculum
The musculoskeletal body painting session described herein was funded by a grant from Elon University’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Elon University Institutional Review Board approved this study of students participating in ABP as part of the didactic year anatomy curriculum (IRB Protocol No. 14-108). Informed consent was obtained from study participants by a faculty member not involved with the study.
Conflict of Interest
The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.
- 5.The American Association of Physician Assistants. https://www.aapa.org/about/history/, accessed 22 October 2017.
- 6.19th Annual Report on Physician Assistant Educational Programs in the United States. http://paeaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/19th-Annual-Report-on-Physician-Assistant-Educational-Programs-in-the-United-States-2002-2003.pdf#page=74, accessed 22 October 2017.
- 7.PAEA Research Program 32 By the Numbers: Data from the 2016 Program Survey. http://paeaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ProgramReport32_2017_2.pdf , accessed 22 October 2017.
- 8.Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Accreditation, Standards for Physician Assistant Education, Fourth Edition. 2016. http://www.arc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Standards-4th-Ed-March-2016.pdf, accessed 31 August 2017.
- 11.Ali L, Nisar S, Ghassan A, Khan SA. Impact of clinical skill lab on students’ learning in preclinical years. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2011;23(4):114–7.Google Scholar
- 13.Keim-Janssen SA, VanderMeulen SP, Shostrom VK, and Lomneth CS. Enhancement of anatomical learning and developing clinical competence of first-year medical and allied health profession students. Anat Sci Educ 2014;7(3):181–190. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1398. Epub 2013 Sep 3.
- 16.Kharb P, Samanta P, Jindal M, and Singh V. Learning styles and the preferred teaching—learning strategies of first year medical students. J Clin Diagn Res 2013 Jun; 7(6): 1089–1092.Google Scholar
- 18.Gambino M. Should We Use Body Painting to Teach Anatomy? In Smithsonian Magazine; https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/should-we-use-body-painting-to-teach-anatomy-180947826 , published 25 November 2013, accessed 25 July 2014.