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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA June 2013
80 Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 43 Number 2 June 2013 INTRODUCTION Chiropractic education, like that of many other health professions, has been based on a strong program of basic sciences. Good grounding in basic sciences, traditionally taught at the beginning of the program, enables students to understand the human body, its development and functions within the broader environmental context. This understanding has been seen as crucial in the development of clinical skills and competencies. Amongst the basic sciences anatomy plays one of the most prominent roles in chiropractic education. This is to be expected in a profession defned as “a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health."1 One of the problems with basic sciences education in health programs, anatomy included, has been a relatively low retention rate. Thus, a recent review2 suggested that “in the general educational domain as well as in medical education, ... approximately two-third to three-fourth of knowledge will be retained after one year, with a further decrease to slightly below ffty percent in the next year.” Consequently, there is a necessity to revise anatomy in the later years of study. In chiropractic, this is usually done within the clinical context in various specialist subjects. However, as this might not be enough, other engaging strategies of revising anatomy Anatomy Based Research Projects in the Final Year of Chiropractic Studies: Reinforcing Anatomy Knowledge while Improving Research Skills GORAN ŠTRKALJ and MARIAN CASEY Goran Štrkalj, PhD Associate Professor Department of Chiropractic Macquarie University Marian Casey, BSc-Psy, BForBio Australian School of Advanced Medicine Macquarie University Sydney 2109 NSW Received 9 May 2013, accepted 19 May 2013 No confict of interest was noted ABSTRACT: Anatomy has been one of the key preclinical subjects in chiropractic education. One of the major problems in anatomy teaching within health disciplines' curricula, however, has been the relatively low retention rate. In this paper we present an educational strategy devised to help students revise anatomy in the fnal year of chiropractic studies through the anatomy based research projects. In the process, students both improve their knowledge of anatomy and develop their research skills. INDEX TERMS (MeSH): EDUCATION, CHIROPRACTIC; EDUCATION, CHIROPRACTIC/AUSTRALIA; ANATOMY. Chiropr J Aust 2013;43:80-1. need to be devised. In this paper we present one of these strategies, implemented at Macquarie University. We show how a research project, compulsory in the fnal year of chiropractic studies at Macquarie University, can be carried out as an anatomy based research study. This strategy has a dual beneft – it reinforces students’ anatomy knowledge and serves to develop their research skills. MACQUARIE PROGRAM IN CHIROPRACTIC AND THE IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH Chiropractic education at Macquarie University consists of three years of undergraduate and two years of postgraduate studies. During the undergraduate years the emphasis is on basic sciences and gradual introduction of clinical subjects, while in the postgraduate years the focus is on clinical topics. Anatomy is taught in four one-semester units (modules) in the frst two years of undergraduate studies.3 The fnal (second postgraduate) year of studies includes a substantial research project carried out by students throughout the academic year. The research project is the fnal step in the development of the research skills program, which has been integrated vertically into the fve years of the chiropractic curriculum. The program is based on both Macquarie University’s strategy of introducing research skills to undergraduate students4 and the Department of Chiropractic’s approach to education and clinical practice which is fully based in evidence based chiropractic.5,6 The fnal year research projects focus on different topics relevant to chiropractic. Students carry them out individually or in groups, supervised by one or more academics who are specialists in the chosen feld. Development of research skills of chiropractic students seems to be of utmost importance. Indeed, it was recently noted that “much of the positive evolution of chiropractic can be ascribed to a quarter century-long research effort.”7 This research orientation is now prominent in many chiropractic teaching institutions.
CJA March 2013
CJA September 2013