NYMC Faculty Publications

A Peer-Led Kinesthetic Forearm and Wrist Anatomy Workshop: A Multiple Cohort Study

Author Type(s)

Student, Faculty

Journal Title

Anatomical Sciences Education

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Second Department

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


An understanding of forearm and wrist anatomy is necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of various injuries. Evidence supports the use of peer-assisted learning (PAL) as an effective resource for teaching basic science courses. First-year medical students across three class years participated in an optional PAL kinesthetic workshop wherein participants created anatomically accurate paper models of forearm and wrist muscles. Participants completed pre- and post-workshop surveys. Participant and nonparticipant exam performances were compared. Participation ranged from 17.3% to 33.2% of each class; participants were more likely to identify as women than men (p < 0.001). Participants in cohorts 2 and 3 reported increased comfort with relevant content after the workshop (p < 0.001). Survey responses for cohort 1 were omitted due to low response rates; however, exam performances were assessed for all three cohorts. Cohort 2 participants scored higher than nonparticipants on forearm and wrist questions on the cumulative course exam (p = 0.010), while the opposite was found for cohort 3 (p = 0.051). No other statistically significant differences were observed. This is the first study to examine quantitative and qualitative results for a PAL intervention repeated for three separate cohorts. Although academic performance varied, two cohorts reported increased comfort with relevant course material after the workshop. Results of this study support the need for further exploration of PAL workshops as an instructional method in teaching anatomy and highlight the challenges associated with repeating interventions over multiple years. As more studies attempt replication across multiple years, these challenges may be addressed, thereby informing PAL best practices.