Goals of the 2019 UNM SOM curriculum revision include reducing the students repeating Phase I for academic reasons to less than 5% and those delaying Step I to less than 10%. To address these, we introduced two interventions into Clinical Morphology (CM), the foundational anatomy course taken by first year UNM medical students. Interventions included competence-based heterogeneous (CBH) student group formation and reciprocal peer teaching (RPT). These interventions applied independently have been shown to elevate the lowest performing students without negatively impacting higher performing students (Donovan, 2018 & Pizzimenti, 2016). CM is designed around classroom and lab-based active learning sessions completed in small groups that were historically formed by random assignment. MS2025 students were administered a pre-quiz to stratify them into quartiles, after which CBH groups of six to eight students were formed. Students participated in all classroom-based CM active learning sessions within their CBH group. CBH groups were divided into two (physically adjacent) dissection groups for lab sessions. After completing weekly lab dissections, students participated in novel reciprocal peer teaching (RPT) sessions in which the divided CBH group alternately taught each other. Students were provided training, checklists, and facilitation questions to guide teaching sessions. As all students dissected and taught each week, our study addressed some of the limitations of other research that found students perform better on exams only for content for which they dissected and taught (Manyama, 2016). Initial results indicate that MS2025 students performed significantly better than MS2023 and MS2024 students on the standardized NBME final exam. Additionally, this significant difference was amplified when comparing the lowest 26 NBME scores from each cohort; however, no difference was identified when comparing the highest 26 student scores from each cohort.
Jordan, Julia and Rebecca Hartley. "Pilot Study: Heterogeneous Grouping and Reciprocal Peer Teaching in Anatomy Medical Education." (2022). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_ed_day/109