The Division of Clinical Anatomy is involved in several community and university outreach initiatives. We offer anatomy workshops for groups in various health professions, such as massage therapy, paramedics, nursing, imaging technologists, osteopathy and physical therapy. These workshops provide the individuals with a hands-on experience that is not possible during their formal training. Group workshops are very interactive and range from a few hours to a few days in length. Participants see what is truly under the skin and this increases their understanding of the body and can lead to better treatment of patients in their professions. We also host high school visits and take part in the Western/Fanshawe Discovery Days events by providing hands-on workshops with real lungs, hearts and brains etc. and a virtual trip through the brain or corpuscle in the kidney.
The Clinical anatomy group is also actively involved with Interprofessional outreach events for students or trainees in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. These events range from monthly demonstrations of surgical procedures or training for specific skills in surgery or anesthesiology, to a week-long Interprofessional program for nursing and medical students interested in surgery and the operating room. One of our monthly outreach events is part of a student initiative to integrate anatomy knowledge and surgical skills, known at the “Surgically Oriented Anatomy Program” or SOAP. Each month during the academic year a surgeon is invited into the anatomy lab to demonstrate a typical procedure related to his or her specialty. The demonstration is projected on a large screen so everyone can observe. Following the demonstration and questions students practice the procedure with the donors. This has proven to be a very popular outreach program, filling to capacity every session (about 30 students). Responses and attitudes about the session and lessons learned was published in the Anatomcial Sciences Education journal, where it was featured on the cover of the May/June 2012 publication.
Our other very successful outreach program is the week long Interprofessional Summer Surgery School. This is another student initiative, designed to help medical students and nursing students better understand each other’s’ roles in the operating room and to expose those interested in surgery as a career to a first-hand account of what the profession is all about, which should lead to better informed career decisions. The course is run in conjunction with CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics) at the University Hospital. The course agenda takes participants through patient preparation to operating room equipment to surgical instrumentation to anesthesia to cumulate with a mock surgery, as a team, in a mock operating room on a cadaver. Presentation of this outreach program received 3rd prize (out of 766 posters) at an international medical education conference in Vienna in 2011.