Getting a leg up in Gross Anatomy

3 Jul

In just a few short weeks, Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine will be welcoming the Class of 2016. However, 40 incoming osteopathic medical students are already on campus and in class. They are the inaugural participants in a new intensive three-week anatomy course aimed at indoctrinating new students with the rigors of medical school while preparing them for Gross Anatomy.   

Developed and taught by Dr. Jonathan Leo, a Kaplan lecturer, professor of neuroanatomy and associate dean of students at LMU-DCOM, the course includes class material presented through small group discussions and time in the LMU-DOM anatomy lab. There will be a heavy emphasis on the clinical aspects of anatomy so the student can equate various physical signs and symptoms with anatomical pathology. Presented over three weeks, the course moves at a very fast pace and covers upper and lower limbs, thorax and abdomen and head and neck with an emphasis on the cranial nerves and skull.

The Gross Anatomy Boot Camp is limited to 40 students and was available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Classes are held daily from 8 a.m. to  4 p.m. Each starts with a test over the previous day’s material. Each test is cumulative to encourage long-term mastery of medical gross anatomy. The Boot Camp concludes with a medical school level laboratory practical exam.  


Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine graduate Carlos Cabrera painted a mural inside the anatomy lab as a memorial to the selfless individuals who donate their bodies so that medical students might learn anatomy. The mural completed in 2008 spans the front wall of the LMU-DCOM anatomy lab.

Leo developed the course to prepare students for the fire hose of information and knowledge that will flood them in osteopathic medical school. Though most students expect a more rigorous curriculum on their paths to becoming a physician, few are fully prepared for their first days, weeks and months of medical school and the total dedication it requires. The Gross Anatomy Boot Camp brochure includes the following disclaimer to help illustrate the commitment required. “The course moves at a very fast pace. You should only be registering for it if you are ready for a full-time immersion into gross anatomy. In addition to spending most of the day in a structured learning environment you should also plan on spending the majority of your evening studying anatomy.”

Clearly, the experience is not for the faint of heart or unfocused student. The course will run through July 20. Orientation for the LMU-DCOM Class of 2016 is set to begin on July 24.

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