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Medical schools that do NOT have cadavers?

therewillbesun96

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I don't want to apply to or attend a medical school that uses cadavers as the primary focus for anatomy and am trying to make a list of medical schools that use VR or simulations instead. Here is my list so far, hoping others can add -- thanks!

Kaiser
Cleveland Clinic
UCSF
Case Western
WSU (might be a mix?)
Iowa (might be a mix?)
TCU/UNTHSC
UTRGV
Dell (UT Austin, likely a mix but heavy on VR and digital)

(Not trying to argue whether the experience is important. But if you're interested in my reasoning, check out this article along with similar thought pieces. Also, I use VR as a biology teacher myself -- no dissections. Looking for something similar as a student.)
 
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gonnif

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I don't want to apply to or attend a medical school that uses cadavers as the primary focus for anatomy and am trying to make a list of medical schools that use VR or simulations instead. Here is my list so far, hoping others can add -- thanks!

Kaiser
Cleveland Clinic
UCSF
Case Western
WSU (might be a mix?)
Iowa (might be a mix?)
Minnesota (unconfirmed)

(Not trying to argue whether the experience is important. But if you're interested in my reasoning, check out this article along with similar thought pieces. Also, I use VR as a biology teacher myself -- no dissections. Looking for something similar as a student.)

My comment isnt whether the experience matters. My concern is: are you willing not to go to medical school over the issue. That is. if you limit yourself to only schools that do not have cadavers, you have reduce your opportunities for acceptance
 
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deleted804295

I don't want to apply to or attend a medical school that uses cadavers as the primary focus for anatomy and am trying to make a list of medical schools that use VR or simulations instead. Here is my list so far, hoping others can add -- thanks!

Kaiser
Cleveland Clinic
UCSF
Case Western
WSU (might be a mix?)
Iowa (might be a mix?)
Minnesota (unconfirmed)

(Not trying to argue whether the experience is important. But if you're interested in my reasoning, check out this article along with similar thought pieces. Also, I use VR as a biology teacher myself -- no dissections. Looking for something similar as a student.)
VR cannot simulate the experience of cadaver. Hope you find what you're looking for though :)
 
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therewillbesun96

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My comment isnt whether the experience matters. My concern is: are you willing not to go to medical school over the issue. That is. if you limit yourself to only schools that do not have cadavers, you have reduce your opportunities for acceptance

I am prioritizing schools that use VR. I think there are about 10 (that I've identified so far). Since these schools also have problem-based learning curriculums, they are at the top of my list! I will be applying to around 20 total and make that decision when it comes. I do educational research regarding the value of dissections which overlaps with all this cadaver discussion going on right now -- hence my decision.

It's really pretty interesting. The switch to VR can save medical schools (and students) so much money, too.
 
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gonnif

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I am prioritizing schools that use VR. I think there are about 10 (that I've identified so far). Since these schools also have problem-based learning curriculums, they are at the top of my list! I will be applying to around 20 total and make that decision when it comes. I do educational research regarding the value of dissections which overlaps with all this cadaver discussion going on right now -- hence my decision.

It's really pretty interesting. The switch to VR can save medical schools (and students) so much money, too.
Of course realize that this list will be further cut back by your in-state/OOS status, GPA, MCAT, and other admission criteria
 
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wysdoc

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I don't want to apply to or attend a medical school that uses cadavers as the primary focus for anatomy and am trying to make a list of medical schools that use VR or simulations instead. Here is my list so far, hoping others can add -- thanks!

Kaiser
Cleveland Clinic
UCSF
Case Western
WSU (might be a mix?)
Iowa (might be a mix?)
Minnesota (unconfirmed)

(Not trying to argue whether the experience is important. But if you're interested in my reasoning, check out this article along with similar thought pieces. Also, I use VR as a biology teacher myself -- no dissections. Looking for something similar as a student.)
UTRGV and TCU/UNTHSC, both in Texas. The second one uses AMCAS app.
 

gyngyn

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I don't want to apply to or attend a medical school that uses cadavers as the primary focus for anatomy and am trying to make a list of medical schools that use VR or simulations instead.
We prefer the term "donor" to honor them.
They may be nameless (out of respect for privacy) but they are neither faceless nor objects.
 
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moomoo02

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Dell uses donor cadavers but medical students do not perform the actual dissection. If I remember correctly, they have a special department that does the dissection, and students come to study the donors afterwards.
 

seeinghowitgoes

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VR cannot simulate the experience of cadaver. Hope you find what you're looking for though :)

1 preclinical year could never replace 2 there is simply too much information

you could never take step 1 after your clinical year you’d never have enough knowledge to be on the wards

Medical students need lecturers, case-based learning may work in business school but won’t work for topics so complex

Stable angina can’t just be managed with optimal medical therapy, to not stent wouldn’t make sense (and might just be malpractice)

How could you NOT replace hormones in women hitting menopause - you’re just doing what nature had done for years!!

Aspirin for all - it’s the cornerstone of primary prevention how in the world could you withhold it?

....

A lot of things a lot of people had strong opinions on. A lot of things that got reversed or changed with little negative consequence as more data came out.

I could go on, and on, and on, and on. Just because something has been done one way for a long time doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best way to do it, and bioplausibility (or the synonymous term in education) rarely translates to meaningful differences in the outcomes that you really care about (mortality for medicine, or becoming a good doctor for education, etc). My guess - they’ll look at VR vs traditional anatomy and in some pretty poorly done research there won’t be too much of a difference in surrogate outcomes (ie test scores) and they’ll never study let alone find any meaningful difference in outcomes that matter (clinical skill as a resident or attending, how well liked the doc by patients and colleagues, etc).

To OP (@therewillbesun96) - you’re going to develop your surgery skills in residency (if you go that route). You’ll learn the anatomy you need just fine whatever system you go to if you buy in. Not surprisingly, they have smart people making the curriculum at schools that use VR, too.
 
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therewillbesun96

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We prefer the term "donor" to honor them.
They may be nameless (out of respect for privacy) but they are neither faceless nor objects.

Hey there, thanks for your input. I am a biology professor at an undergraduate university with a medical school, and I have never heard students or professors refer to them as donors. I do agree that this is a better term. But the term on most medical school websites and in all the articles I read is "cadaver," so I followed suit. Appreciate the thought and I will use donor in the future.
 
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therewillbesun96

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Donor is the preferable term, don’t be so disrespectful towards the gracious people who donated their bodies to science, OP. Smh

Hi! Yikes, the negativity on this site is incredible. As I said to another member: Thanks for your input. I am a biology professor at an undergraduate university with a medical school, and I have never heard students or professors refer to them as donors. I do agree that this is a better term. But the term on most medical school websites and in all the articles I read is "cadaver," so I followed suit. Appreciate the thought and I will use donor in the future.
 
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A girl has no name

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Case Western has a 2-week intensive cadaveric dissection/anatomy bootcamp, followed by prosections for every block (in addition to VR). Not sure if that affects whether it shows up on your list.

Cleveland Clinic has weekly anatomy lab to look at prosections (in addition to VR).
 
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Osteosaur

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Anatomy represents what is, essentially, the hardest month of your first year of medical school. That is it. Its not a big deal at all. You feel gross and stupid for one day a week and do bad on some practicals.

This list does not matter until you get in and should take lower priority to things like location and mandatory lectures.

If you are willing to not go to medical school over this... you're going to have a hard time putting up with the other nonsense that gets thrown your way as a medical student. You will not make any sort of stand as an applicant because there is always someone willing to say, "Please sir, may I have another?"

The only way to make an actual change in medical education is when doctors/professors look back critically at how student and resident years are spent, rather than going 'I suffered and so should you.'
 
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Anatomy represents what is, essentially, the hardest month of your first year of medical school. That is it. Its not a big deal at all. You feel gross and stupid for one day a week and do bad on some practicals.

This list does not matter until you get in and should take lower priority to things like location and mandatory lectures.

If you are willing to not go to medical school over this... you're going to have a hard time putting up with the other nonsense that gets thrown your way as a medical student. You will not make any sort of stand as an applicant because there is always someone willing to say, "Please sir, may I have another?"

The only way to make an actual change in medical education is when doctors/professors look back critically at how student and resident years are spent, rather than going 'I suffered and so should you.'
1000% agreed.
I had an MD colleague about 70 years years old and out of the blue I asked him if he remembered where the masseter was. He started moving his jaw up and down.

I believe if you forget what you've learned, that's OK, but it's also to some degree on you.

There are better hills to die on that the fact that donors cost more than Ipads or not everyone goes into surgery, and thus forgets where the Zonule of Zin is.
 
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therewillbesun96

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Anatomy represents what is, essentially, the hardest month of your first year of medical school. That is it. Its not a big deal at all. You feel gross and stupid for one day a week and do bad on some practicals.

This list does not matter until you get in and should take lower priority to things like location and mandatory lectures.

If you are willing to not go to medical school over this... you're going to have a hard time putting up with the other nonsense that gets thrown your way as a medical student. You will not make any sort of stand as an applicant because there is always someone willing to say, "Please sir, may I have another?"

The only way to make an actual change in medical education is when doctors/professors look back critically at how student and resident years are spent, rather than going 'I suffered and so should you.'

Hmm, thanks for your thoughts. However, location does not matter to me -- I'm single and in my late 30s and my extended family is scattered across the globe. Curriculum is my #1 priority and anatomy, to me, is a core component of that consideration.

As I stated, I am a current biology professor with a PhD and not yet ready to leave my career until I find a program that fits those priorities. I understand after browsing further that most people on this site want acceptance to a "top program" in an ideal location, but that is not my desire nor my reality.

Agreed RE: actual change. Statements from former students regarding their long & forgotten and trivial experience in anatomy, lectures, letter-graded courses, etc. are negative and regressive when it comes to medical education, since they are or will be clinicians leading changes in medical education in the future.
 

therewillbesun96

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1000% agreed.
I had an MD colleague about 70 years years old and out of the blue I asked him if he remembered where the masseter was. He started moving his jaw up and down.

I believe if you forget what you've learned, that's OK, but it's also to some degree on you.

There are better hills to die on that the fact that donors cost more than Ipads or not everyone goes into surgery, and thus forgets where the Zonule of Zin is.

Understood. However, I should also mention that I am pursuing schools with medical education tracts and I see no harm in forming a list based on medical schools that heavily prioritize curriculum innovations. (I would like to switch from a professor in my biology department to a medical school after finishing an MD, in addition to practicing clinically.)

Again, no concerns with numbers (GPA, MCAT) or location. I can see how this thread might be concerning to you if I were an undergraduate student. Oh how I wish I were that young!
 
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therewillbesun96

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deleted804295

Hey there, thanks for your input. I am a biology professor at an undergraduate university with a medical school, and I have never heard students or professors refer to them as donors. I do agree that this is a better term. But the term on most medical school websites and in all the articles I read is "cadaver," so I followed suit. Appreciate the thought and I will use donor in the future.
You're a professor applying for medical school?

Doesn't pass the sniff test.
 
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deleted804295

I wasn't aware of the term donor being used instead of cadaver so thank you to everyone for the corrections.

You're all right, we must place respect in the people who donated themselves to medical institutions.
 
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LunaOri

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Please understand that not all of us consider our experience with anatomy to be "long forgotten and trivial". It's not about memorizing trivia to pass a test, it's about respecting and understanding the human body, with all its organs and systems. For some of us, it was an awe-inspiring experience.
Have you ever seen an autopsy, or a surgery, in person?
 
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Med Ed

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I wasn't aware of the term donor being used instead of cadaver so thank you to everyone for the corrections.

You're all right, we must place respect in the people who donated themselves to medical institutions.

At my institution we use the word cadaver, and I personally don't find it disrespectful in the least (it is derived from the Latin term for "fallen"). Death is a fairly uncomfortable subject, and over time we generally seek newer and better euphemisms for things that disturb us.
 
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therewillbesun96

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Please understand that not all of us consider our experience with anatomy to be "long forgotten and trivial". It's not about memorizing trivia to pass a test, it's about respecting and understanding the human body, with all its organs and systems. For some of us, it was an awe-inspiring experience.
Have you ever seen an autopsy, or a surgery, in person?

Yes, understood, that's not what I meant about that statement. I understand the experience is significant to many. But the sentiment from many posters is similar to what I described, and a previous poster made a comment I wanted to agree with.

Never an autopsy but certainly many surgeries. It is incredible, but my interest is not surgery (at this point).
 

therewillbesun96

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They can. It just doesn't pass the sniff test.

I did my masters and PhD straight out of undergrad. I was done by 30, did research for a while before being hired as a professor. I teach at a private university that does not distinguish between lecturers and professors, which is maybe why you are confused..... It's not very difficult to get a teaching position here.

I don't feel the need to explain my choices for furthering my education and making a career switch on this thread, but someone privately messaged me with a question about my post yesterday. If you can do that, you can message me and I will happily elaborate.
 
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therewillbesun96

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At my institution we use the word cadaver, and I personally don't find it disrespectful in the least (it is derived from the Latin term for "fallen"). Death is a fairly uncomfortable subject, and over time we generally seek newer and better euphemisms for things that disturb us.

Interesting thought here! I do think the terms used vary a decent amount. I read this piece published by Johns Hopkins and the UNLV article, also linked, and the first sentence is: "UNLV has always planned to add more bodies to its medical school. But under the latest funding plan, some of them will be dead." Ahhh!



I am still interested in hearing more about anatomy courses at other medical schools. I have not been able to add much to the list.
 
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deleted804295

I did my masters and PhD straight out of undergrad. I was done by 30, did research for a while before being hired as a professor. I teach at a private university that does not distinguish between lecturers and professors, which is maybe why you are confused..... It's not very difficult to get a teaching position here.

I don't feel the need to explain my choices for furthering my education and making a career switch on this thread, but someone privately messaged me with a question about my post yesterday. If you can do that, you can message me and I will happily elaborate.
No you're fine. :) I have a friend from SDN that has a PhD and is going into medicine but they're in their late 20s and didn't become a professor.

I guess teaching at a private university is different. Thanks for clarifying.
 

detritus

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UCSF does use cadavers for anatomy. They are prosected, with limited dissection done by students to save time (most dissection is cutting through fat and inexperienced students may destroy important structures like the article mentioned). Either way, I think this is a small detail when choosing where to go to medical school. You will learn anatomy at any school, other things are much more important.
 
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Med Ed

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Interesting thought here! I do think the terms used vary a decent amount.

To add on a bit more, the term "donor" does put some separation between the willed body programs of today and older sources of cadavers: executed criminals and body snatchers.
 
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kopftonmd

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I read the thread and the article, and I'm still a little confused as to why the OP so strongly wants cadaver-less anatomy lab. Honest question.

One thing to keep in mind with this cycle specifically is that some (many?) schools may be ditching the traditional anatomy lab due to COVID-related guidelines. My school, for example, is doing it primarily online with some prosections set up by the faculty.
 
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Osminog

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I can relate to the OP to the extent that I personally hated gross anatomy lab and wish my medical school conducted the labs through VR. I derived no satisfaction from working with the decreased, and I tended to get quite confused when structures on the bodies differed from how they appear in the anatomy atlas (due to individual variation or pathology).

But to pick a small list of medical schools to apply to solely on the basis of whether they have virtual reality anatomy lab in place of cadaver lab? In my opinion, that just reflects a certain level of entitlement and narrow-mindedness. Being a college professor with a PhD doesn't make someone a shoo-in at every medical school in America. It's absurd to apply to a handful of random schools just because you think cadavers are icky or that they're not ideal teaching tools.
 
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DarklingThrush

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I don't want to apply to or attend a medical school that uses cadavers as the primary focus for anatomy and am trying to make a list of medical schools that use VR or simulations instead. Here is my list so far, hoping others can add -- thanks!

Kaiser
Cleveland Clinic
UCSF
Case Western
WSU (might be a mix?)
Iowa (might be a mix?)
TCU/UNTHSC
UTRGV
Dell (UT Austin, likely a mix but heavy on VR and digital)

(Not trying to argue whether the experience is important. But if you're interested in my reasoning, check out this article along with similar thought pieces. Also, I use VR as a biology teacher myself -- no dissections. Looking for something similar as a student.)

TCU/UNTHSC uses donor cadavers as far as I know.
 
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therewillbesun96

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I can relate to the OP to the extent that I personally hated gross anatomy lab and wish my medical school conducted the labs through VR. I derived no satisfaction from working with the decreased, and I tended to get quite confused when structures on the bodies differed from how they appear in the anatomy atlas (due to individual variation or pathology).

But to pick a small list of medical schools to apply to solely on the basis of whether they have virtual reality anatomy lab in place of cadaver lab? In my opinion, that just reflects a certain level of entitlement and narrow-mindedness. Being a college professor with a PhD doesn't make someone a shoo-in at every medical school in America. It's absurd to apply a handful of random schools just because you think cadavers are icky or that they're not ideal teaching tools.

As I said, I didn't want this thread to turn into a discussion for how or why I would be prioritizing certain schools. I will say that maybe I should have made the title "med schools that use VR anatomy" instead. (It's not that I think donors are "icky" - never did I say or even suggest this.)

I have plenty of other criteria while making a school list. Curriculum is my #1 priority, which includes anatomy. I have spent the most significant years of my life working in science education research, specifically focusing on dissection as a teaching method along with new alternatives (including VR). At this point in my life, I know for a fact I do not feel like returning to a traditional anatomy course or curriculum when I've spent my entire career so far researching and implementing something else.

If you have worked in science education and have any interest in pursuing medical education after school, I do think curriculum is an important consideration. For example, most medical schools that have a medication education track are those that prioritize using innovative teaching methods and technologies.

I do not feel that I am being entitled or narrow-minded. Like I responded to others previously, I'm not judging anyone else's criteria for medical school so I'm not sure why mine is being scrutinized. I am 20 years into my career and now making a drastic switch that I've pondered over for almost two decades. I have priorities (again, location and stats are luckily NOT a concern) that are unique but not extreme.

Good luck with the rest of your schooling!
 
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therewillbesun96

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I read the thread and the article, and I'm still a little confused as to why the OP so strongly wants cadaver-less anatomy lab. Honest question.

One thing to keep in mind with this cycle specifically is that some (many?) schools may be ditching the traditional anatomy lab due to COVID-related guidelines. My school, for example, is doing it primarily online with some prosections set up by the faculty.

Maybe my latest reply above or below this one can help you understand, but you can also message me if that's possible.

I understand the switch from COVID, but many of the alternatives being used are either not figured out or confirmed yet and/or nothing like VR or the quality of technology other medical schools have. It's obviously understandable given the circumstances!
 

gonnif

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You're a professor applying for medical school?

Doesn't pass the sniff test.
I have assisted multiple PhDs and faculty in various disciplines over the years to get into medical school and certainly know of many others Additionally, often the oldest nontraditional students are exactly that. Off the top of my head I know a bat researcher went to Einstein at age 41, a Harvard sociologist who went to WCMC at 50+, and was working with a Public Health/Social Work faculty last cycle.
 
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I can relate to the OP to the extent that I personally hated gross anatomy lab and wish my medical school conducted the labs through VR. I derived no satisfaction from working with the decreased, and I tended to get quite confused when structures on the bodies differed from how they appear in the anatomy atlas (due to individual variation or pathology).

To say nothing of students’ varying treatment of the bodies. It always infuriated me during a practical if a body was so dried out you couldn’t tell a nerve from a vein due to student negligence...or a dissection was poorly or partially done.
 
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aayz345

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I don't want to apply to or attend a medical school that uses cadavers as the primary focus for anatomy and am trying to make a list of medical schools that use VR or simulations instead. Here is my list so far, hoping others can add -- thanks!

Kaiser
Cleveland Clinic
UCSF
Case Western
WSU (might be a mix?)
Iowa (might be a mix?)
TCU/UNTHSC
UTRGV
Dell (UT Austin, likely a mix but heavy on VR and digital)

(Not trying to argue whether the experience is important. But if you're interested in my reasoning, check out this article along with similar thought pieces. Also, I use VR as a biology teacher myself -- no dissections. Looking for something similar as a student.)


CHSU COM uses Holoantomy/VR. They're also trying to receive some donor cadavers from the local coroner incase people want to have the cadaver experience as well
 

Osteosaur

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As I said, I didn't want this thread to turn into a discussion for how or why I would be prioritizing certain schools. I will say that maybe I should have made the title "med schools that use VR anatomy" instead. (It's not that I think donors are "icky" - never did I say or even suggest this.)

I have plenty of other criteria while making a school list. Curriculum is my #1 priority, which includes anatomy. I have spent the most significant years of my life working in science education research, specifically focusing on dissection as a teaching method along with new alternatives (including VR). At this point in my life, I know for a fact I do not feel like returning to a traditional anatomy course or curriculum when I've spent my entire career so far researching and implementing something else.

If you have worked in science education and have any interest in pursuing medical education after school, I do think curriculum is an important consideration. For example, most medical schools that have a medication education track are those that prioritize using innovative teaching methods and technologies.

I do not feel that I am being entitled or narrow-minded. Like I responded to others previously, I'm not judging anyone else's criteria for medical school so I'm not sure why mine is being scrutinized. I am 20 years into my career and now making a drastic switch that I've pondered over for almost two decades. I have priorities (again, location and stats are luckily NOT a concern) that are unique but not extreme.

Good luck with the rest of your schooling!

I completely understand wanting to support better curricula and put your money where you mouth is, with respect to applications.

I am just trying to understand why you are rating preclinical curriculum so highly, purely for my own curiosity, as it sounds like this make or break to the point you'd rather not be a doctor than settle for anything short of this teaching method? It is only a fraction of your schooling. And even if you go into academic medicine you will not be teaching at the preclinical level as a physician -- and do you expect preclinical curriculum to be what gets you to such a position?

I am just naturally someone who plans for the worst and applying to such a narrow range is mind-boggling to me. Granted I am sure that being faculty you'd be looked at differently from some 25 year old. Perhaps @gonnif has a better sense of the acceptance rate of PhDs compared to most applicants? I am genuinely curious of how highly ranked professionals match up myself.
 
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gonnif

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I completely understand wanting to support better curricula and put your money where you mouth is, with respect to applications.

I am just trying to understand why you are rating preclinical curriculum so highly, purely for my own curiosity, as it sounds like this make or break to the point you'd rather not be a doctor than settle for anything short of this teaching method? It is only a fraction of your schooling. And even if you go into academic medicine you will not be teaching at the preclinical level as a physician -- and do you expect preclinical curriculum to be what gets you to such a position?

I am just naturally someone who plans for the worst and applying to such a narrow range is mind-boggling to me. Granted I am sure that being faculty you'd be looked at differently from some 25 year old. Perhaps @gonnif has a better sense of the acceptance rate of PhDs compared to most applicants? I am genuinely curious of how highly ranked professionals match up myself.
I dont have any data on that and am not sure it would tell us much as all PhD are different. That is how would a hard science vs social science etc. I have seen people with wildly divergent backgrounds such as a PhD in Oceanography, Biology (bat behavior), Social work, and others go into medicine. The issue that I think is most important that an adcom will consider is motivation, explaining why after years of study in whatever field, you now choose medicine?

The only quick data that I have is just under 2% of matriculants did not consider medicine until after completing a graduate degree according to MSQ Question #6.
 

mdapplicant2024

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As I said, I didn't want this thread to turn into a discussion for how or why I would be prioritizing certain schools. I will say that maybe I should have made the title "med schools that use VR anatomy" instead. (It's not that I think donors are "icky" - never did I say or even suggest this.)

I have plenty of other criteria while making a school list. Curriculum is my #1 priority, which includes anatomy. I have spent the most significant years of my life working in science education research, specifically focusing on dissection as a teaching method along with new alternatives (including VR). At this point in my life, I know for a fact I do not feel like returning to a traditional anatomy course or curriculum when I've spent my entire career so far researching and implementing something else.

If you have worked in science education and have any interest in pursuing medical education after school, I do think curriculum is an important consideration. For example, most medical schools that have a medication education track are those that prioritize using innovative teaching methods and technologies.

I do not feel that I am being entitled or narrow-minded. Like I responded to others previously, I'm not judging anyone else's criteria for medical school so I'm not sure why mine is being scrutinized. I am 20 years into my career and now making a drastic switch that I've pondered over for almost two decades. I have priorities (again, location and stats are luckily NOT a concern) that are unique but not extreme.

Good luck with the rest of your schooling!
Maybe you shouldn’t go into medicine
 
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hippieMD

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Lol a similar thing happened to me in this post as when I tried to make a post searching for schools with integrative/holistic medicine elective tracts. SDN is a place of very strong opinions that seem to ignore questions that are asked when the topic bothers them. ;)

For anyone interested Nova Southeastern University has entirely virtual anatomy and histology labs with the option to work on cadavers for all of their medical programs. In the Davie campus, the cadaver lab is on-site, while in Clearwater you have to go to the St. Pete Community College.

I hope you found what you were looking for.
 
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