Strides in Development of Medical Education

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

2 Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, Sabzever University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran


Background According to most students, neuroanatomy is difficult to learn. Although different approaches have been suggested for learning neuroanatomical correlations, it seems that none have been effective in aiding learning of afferent and efferent connections. The aim of this study was to develop an innovative method that will facilitate learning of afferent and efferent nervous system connections. Methods A total of 140 medical students at the Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences participated in the current study, of which 69 subjects were trained using traditional methods (control group). An innovative method was employed for the remaining 71 subjects (intervention group). In the intervention group, a name and figure were first allocated to each of the nervous system structures in a way that would remind students of the origin of the structure. The students created 3-part names for the allocated structures that were, if possible, humorous. The first part was the alternative name for the structure, and the second and third parts were the alternative names for afferent and efferent structures. The students learned the afferent and efferent connections through the phrases. Each group passed a 12-item pretest and posttest. Results of the tests were analyzed with SPSS using the paired t-test; P ≤ 0.05 was considered to be significant. Results There was no significant difference in the pretest scores between the study groups (control: 1.64 ± 0.86; intervention: 1.60 ± 0.89; P = 0.40). The posttest score of the intervention group (8.15 ± 1.16) was significantly higher than that of the control (3.75 ± 0.077; P < 0.001). Conclusions An innovative method can facilitate student learning of afferent and efferent nervous system connections.


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