Jeremy Houser, PhD, associate professor, has been course director for A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (ATSU-KCOM) anatomy program for the past eight years. Dr. Houser was selected by ATSU-KCOM student ambassadors Patrick and Jamie Carter to be October’s Student Ambassador Faculty Shout Out.
Here are some highlights from their conversation.
Question: As a student, I really enjoyed my time in the lab, and felt that you were very passionate about bettering each student’s learning outcome. What are some steps you take to ensure a positive learning experience?
Answer: My passion is in the educational process for students. My background is in research, but as I gained more passion for education, I started shifting gears into studying the nature of adult student learning. A lot of students come here with different backgrounds, so it takes a lot of work to assess what is effective and what is efficient and to make adjustments. The passion and energy given back from students to instructors is an important part of education. Education is about forming relationships, grounded in a desire to improve effectiveness.
Q: Going through medical school, I think gross anatomy is something that we both dread and look forward to. My experience here has been pretty extraordinary, and I know you have revamped the course several times. Can you tell us about the changes you have made?
A: We never have taught anatomy twice in the same way. There is always student feedback and additional studying of education that influence change. I ended up writing my own dissector instructions, which became a multimedia project that is much more fluid and flexible. Students are able to use this technology in tandem with the cadaver as we work towards perfecting the educational process.
Q: Why do you use full cadaver dissection instead of virtual options?
A: It is becoming a rare entity in medical education to fully dissect a cadaver, especially in COVID times. A lot of people argue that 3D anatomy education may be more efficient because cadaver dissection is time-consuming, but that is the magic of it. The methods and process of dissection, the time spent with the cadaver, and the dissemination of information is what makes it effective.