Let me start off by saying that I am extremely thankful to have gotten into two of my top choice PT programs. There was a time when I thought I wouldn't even get into one. I got into a PT program in November and had been planning on going to that one because the program I had an interview for in September put me on a waitlist. A few days ago I got off the waitlist and they gave me a scholarship for in state tuition. So now it is cheaper to go to that one! But the program I was originally planning to go to started in August so I thought I had a whole summer to prepare and relax after graduating from undergrad. The other program starts May 26th! Because of Covid a lot of the anatomy will be online and we will be going to in person classes in July. This means that we will have one month with the cadaver lab instead of the originally planned 2 months. The other school does the cadaver lab over two semesters and seems less rushed. Do you all think that the very intensive partially online anatomy could set me up for failure? I did well in anatomy in undergrad, but I know it is a lot more intensive in PT school.
This is a hard one because I had dissection with anatomy and did not have to learn it online, so I have no comparison. Just a couple of thoughts:
- My program has a January start, so mid-semester due to the virus we switched to online and first years were in anatomy. One of the first years told me he actually really liked doing anatomy online. That is one single person of course, but I found it interesting how much he liked it.
- Several students in my class felt that dissection was more busy work than actually learning anatomy, myself included. Not saying it was a waste of time, but some dissections are long, tedious, and you don't learn much. Other labs are incredibly helpful and invaluable learning opportunities. (Side note, I'd love to know what students who learned via prosection think, because that sounded like a more time-efficient way to learn, but again I have never done it so I could very much be wrong). There were a few units in gross that lab was incredibly helpful in assisting me to understand what tf was going on. I have no idea if online videos would be just as good though.
- My boyfriend is a chiropractor and he had gross anatomy over 3 semesters. He was shocked that PTs have gross anatomy in one single semester (*note: anatomy gets reviewed in many classes, over and over, so it's not like you learn anatomy in just gross anatomy and never touch it again). As much as I disliked dissection, I can see having anatomy spread over more than one semester being incredibly helpful.
tl/dr: I don't think you would be set up for failure. Anatomy gets reviewed in many classes, so if you didn't totally get something the first time around, believe me it'll come up again. Money is a serious thing so if it is significantly cheaper, I would weigh that very heavily in my decision. It would definitely be nice to relax and recharge over the summer, but from now until the 26th is a pretty decent chunk of time to sufficiently recharge and prepare.