1420. Preliminary investigation of introducing a pretest system to enhance learning of clinical anatomy in cadaver surgical training program

Authors: Hiroaki Motegi; Shunsuke Terasaka, MD; Michinari Okamoto, MD; Yukitomo Ishi, MD; Shigeru Yamaguchi, MD; Hiroyuki Kobayashi, MD; Toshiaki Shichinohe; Satoshi Hirano; Masahiko Watanabe, MD, PhD; Kiyohiro Houkin (Sapporo, Japan)


Generally, a test is used for the purpose of evaluating the learning. On the other hand, receiving a test itself is known to promote long term memory retention.  A pretest is sometimes used for the purpose of judging the necessity of learning. In recent years, research results that the pretest is more effective for memory retention rather than to increase learning time have been reported and the effect is called “pretest effect”. Cadaver surgical training (CAST) is effective for learning of clinical anatomy but opportunities are limited. Therefore, in order to more efficiently acquire knowledge of clinical anatomy, we introduced a pretest system to CAST.


The CAST of neurosurgery with pretest conducted on the 2-day schedule. For each surgical approach such as cavernous sinus dissection, we had a pretest about the knowledge of clinical anatomy for 5 minutes first, 10 minutes of lecture second and followed by practical training for 2 hours. At the end of the second day the posttest were conducted in 15 minutes for the entire course of CAST.  In addition, we conducted a confirmation test two months after CAST.


Participants were six in total, one in postgraduate year (PGY) 2, one in PGY 4, three in PGY 5, and one in PGY 9. The average score rate was 45.18(19.2-75.0%) in the pretest, 86.4%(60.5-97.4%) in the post-test and 82.95%(55.8-97.7%) in the confirmation test after 2 months.


The pretest confirmed that the degree of knowledge acquisition increased between before and after practical training. In addition, the score of the confirmation test after 2 months of CAST stayed a little lower than the post test. Since there is no control group, it cannot be concluded at moment whether the pretest effect truly contributes, and further investigation is necessary in the future.