Impact of Anatomy Boot Camp on Students in a Medical Gross Anatomy Course

Patrick J. Herling, B. Tanya Mohseni, Derek C. Hill, Stacy Chelf, Jeffrey A. Rickert, Jonathan T. Leo, Natalie R. Langley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) offers an optional three-week summer Anatomy Boot Camp course (ABC) to facilitate students' transition into medical school and promote retention of anatomy subject matter. The pre-matriculation program is a supplemental instruction course that utilizes a small group learning format. Boot camp instruction is led by teaching assistants and two anatomy professors. Enrollees gain early exposure to Medical Gross Anatomy (MGA) course subject matter, which is taught in the fall semester, and learn study skills necessary to excel in medical school. No grade is assigned for the course, therefore participants can study without the fear of potentially affecting grades. This study evaluates the effectiveness of the LMU-DCOM ABC course using data from four consecutive summers. Independent two-sample t-tests were used to compare ABC to non-ABC students for the following variables: incoming grade point average (GPA) and Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) scores, MGA written and laboratory practical examination grades, and final MGA course grade. Additionally, a 26-question survey was administered to 2012–2014 boot camp participants. There were no significant differences in incoming GPA and MCAT scores. However, boot campers scored significantly higher on the first two lecture and laboratory examinations (P < 0.05) for each year of the study. Thereafter scores varied less, suggesting a faster head start for boot camp participants. Mean MGA final grade was on average 3% higher for the boot camp cohort. The survey feedback supports that the ABC course assists with the academic and social transition into medical school. Anat Sci Educ 10: 215–223.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • educational measurement
  • gross anatomy education
  • medical education
  • near-peer teaching
  • osteopathic medical school
  • pre-matriculation program
  • supplemental instruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Embryology


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