Previous Anatomy Training Programmes
ATP report – Summer School, July 2015
Some of the trainees at the summer school
The July summer school of the ATP ran very well, with the two modules ‘ATP1 – Limbs’ and ‘ATP2 – Head and neck’ being offered. Ten students attended in total, including one from Sweden, and two from the United States. Two observers, who are intending to attend the course in 2015-16, came along for part of the week. At the end of the course, two distinctions were awarded, and ten passes. Three students completed the full programme and have been awarded their certificates of completion.
As well as the intense week of training, time in the evenings was used to enjoy the Oxford’s relaxed eating establishments, including one evening sitting on the balcony of the Oxford Club watching a game of cricket, and trying to explain the scoring system to our foreign friends!
Overall it was a very good week, and the feedback from students was very positive.
Trainees enjoying a game of cricket at the Oxford Club during the summer school
Anatomy Training Programme Summer School 2014
The whole group ready to depart on the final day (missing John Morris).
Back row: Mikhail Umorin, Tracey Wilkinson, David Heylings, Clive Lee, Bob Hutchins
Middle row: Adam Taylor, Ceri Davies, Lucy Hyde, Alvin Kwan, William Cobb
Front row: Jennifer Holtzman, Vivien Shaw, Leslie Pryor-Smith, Asha Eapen
Once again this July, our ATP participants, coming from as far afield as Texas and Aberdeen, gathered at Oxford University to complete their ATP modules. This year, the modules ‘Neuroanatomy’ and ‘Trunk’ were on the schedule. An intensive week of nervous presentations, spot tests and discussions on wide-ranging aspects of anatomy were conducted, all under the watchful eye of the staff who oversaw the modules. Participants not only wrestled with the clinical anatomy of the anterior abdominal wall, pedagogical concepts and the intricacies of the limbic system, but also found themselves on the receiving end of learning sessions conducted by their peers. It was not all hard work, however. There was time for some exploration of Oxford’s eating establishments, culminating in an enjoyable evening at a well-known local fish restaurant. By the end of the week, seventeen certificates had been successfully earned by nine participants, two at distinction level. We were also joined on one or two days by three prospective candidates for next year’s programme, who came along to get a taste of the summer school.
This year also saw the retirement from running the programme of David Heylings, who has done an excellent job of coordinating, overseeing and enhancing the programme over the past several years. It is to his credit that the ATP has been such a success and we shall miss him dearly. Luckily he has agreed to continue with some of the portfolios of this year’s participants, so we will not lose him entirely. Thank you, David, for your fantastic contribution!
Prof. Tracey Wilkinson
The participants making the most of the fabulous weather by sitting outdoors for dinner.
An Overview of the Summer Anatomical Training Program Session – an American Perspective
The ATP summer event was an incredible experience for both the students and the program faculty. What I saw from the students was a mixture of excitement, nervousness, and collegiality. The excitement was from being in Oxford University, where the students could demonstrate the knowledge they had gained during the year. The nervousness came not only from those who hadn’t been here before, but also from those who had attended the previous year, because they weren’t sure how the week would unfold. The collegiality stemmed from the informal, friendly atmosphere. These three things seemed to encapsulate the week in Oxford and despite those nervous moments, the summer program was an excellent end to a long year.
Let me explain more of what I saw during the week. The two modules for the year were broken into approximately 2½ days each. The program director welcomed all and outlined the week’s events. This included asking everyone what areas they felt the least comfortable with and would like to have further discussions from the faculty. These discussions led to the only thing that resembled a lecture, as the faculty put together those topics for more in depth explanation.
The major purpose of this week however was to let the students demonstrate their knowledge gained throughout the year, which would ultimately allow them to earn the ATP certificate. This was done by the faculty identifying the various areas from the modules and randomly assigning them to the students. The students were then asked to go into the dissection lab, do the appropriate dissection so that they could present the area, including clinical importance, to the entire group (e.g., dissections done in the morning with presentations in the afternoon). The key here I felt was that there needed to be clinically related anatomy presented, not just anatomy. Students were given suggestions on two levels after their presentations: the first set of suggestions was how best to present the material, something all educators need as they hone their skills. The second set was how best to present the clinical anatomy, which was probably the area least emphasized by the students. When they were first building their anatomical knowledge, surgical anatomy was probably not what they were spending their time learning. However, with this in mind, there are plenty of resources where this knowledge is available.
The other way in which the students demonstrated their knowledge was through a practical exam. The faculty put the exam together with the available cadaveric material in the dissection lab. This means that all of the tagged structures (30-40 tags) were not the pristine presentations found in a textbook, although sufficient anatomical landmarks were presented for appropriate identification. As you might expect, the exam included a mixture of pure identification, secondary, and functional questions. Following the exam, everyone graded their own exam and discussion was encouraged – this was deemed an important part of the learning process.
Although there are no formal grades assigned to the presentations or practicals, the results give the faculty a sense of what has been learned for the year. I suppose one question that many students would want to know is whether anyone can flunk, or basically not reach a sufficient level to be awarded an ATP certificate. When I posed this question to the faculty who have been running the program, the answer was, yes. The hope is that if a student is insufficiently prepared, the mentor will not support, nor will the student request, participation in the summer event. They can ask to postpone these modules to the next time. Unfortunately, in a few cases, a student will show up, but be unable to demonstrate sufficient knowledge and no certificate would be awarded. Fortunately, however, this does not happen very often and the majority of students will earn their certificates.
There is one other part to the program and that is the awarding of a certificate with “Distinction”. So what does this mean? For those students who demonstrate advanced knowledge of an area, ask very insightful questions, and demonstrate superior knowledge during their presentation and practical, they will be awarded a certificate with Distinction. This means that for some modules, no one has achieved this level, and for other modules there may be one or two who earn this top honor. From what I observed, I would say these students demonstrated anatomical and clinical anatomical knowledge equal to someone who can teach at university level.
I should also elaborate on the collegiality that I witnessed. The faculty made themselves accessible and everyone was treated as equals. This environment extended outside the dissection lab as faculty and students shared their dorm facilities as well as everyone going out for dinner together. This allowed everyone to get to know each other’s personal lives as well as their professional experiences. Plus, this allowed for curious minds to ask additional questions about anatomy and sometimes concerns about their teaching situations. All in all, the week became a very valuable learning experience for all, including the faculty. I know I learned a lot from just listening to the issues and concerns at other institutions, whether it was in the States or in other areas of the world.
Professor Bob Hutchins
American Association of Anatomists
ATP Photo Archive
Anatomy Training Programme Students receiving their Certificates of Completion from the Society President Prof. D. Ceri Davies at the Winter Meeting of the Society at the Royal Veterinary College London in December.
The course dinner for staff and trainees at the Café Rouge
Happy ending with Dr Nagaswami Vasan being particularly relaxed. Back row right to left: Siobhan Moyes, Claire Aland (Oxford staff member), Timothy Doubell, Lucy Hyde, Tanya Shaw, Marie Meskell, Yolanda Garcia, Brian Stramer, Ceri Davies President of the Anatomical Society. Front row: Barbara Webb, Cheryl Vasan (AAA), John Morris, Betty Smoot (AAA). Lying down: Nagaswami Vasanwith.
Dr Alanna Stanley receiving her Certificate of Completion from Emeritus
Professor Susan Standring at the Anatomical Society Winter Meeting