Miller Publishes Commentary in Anatomical Sciences Education

Sue Ann Miller
Sue Ann Miller
Professor of Biology Sue Ann Miller has published an invited commentary titled “Integrative anatomy courses serve undergraduate and preclinical anatomy curricula” in the March/April issue of the journal, Anatomical Sciences Education, a publication of the American Association of Anatomists. Her Letter to the Editor was published in “early view” on-line on February 22 and is now in print copy [Anat Sci Educ 3:105–106 (2010)].

Miller contributes a perspective to curricular concerns that are the emphasis of that edition of the journal. She has been involved in curricular discussions among professional anatomists for many years presenting papers, organizing and participating in symposia, and publishing ways to teach that encourage skills in thinking and reasoning rather than memorization in a subject that is often still erroneously assumed to be no more than memorization. Curricular discussion among those who teach in preclinical courses of the first two years of medical school are only now beginning to consider approaches similar to those that Miller has developed and used over several decades in her courses at Hamilton.
Those who teach at liberal arts colleges have the opportunity to develop skills that are essential to all students, including those who become clinical practitioners. Teaching methods evolve as students and academic context change. Reports from national committees that suggested changes in post-baccalaureate curricula with implications for pre-baccalaureate curricula started new discussion in professional societies. These reports, one published by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and another from the National Research Council of the National Academies, encourage a more integrative approach to undergraduate science courses and enumerate goals to improve preparation for biomedical research and medical practice. Many science courses at Hamilton College have embraced the philosophy and used suggested approaches for some time, and Miller’s letter added information about Hamilton biology courses to the discussion.
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