Effects of review on medical students' recall of different types of neuroanatomical content

UMMS Affiliation

Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



*Educational Measurement; *Mental Recall; Neuroanatomy; *Students, Medical


Health Services Research | Medical Education | Primary Care


BACKGROUND: Review of previously learned content is central to formal medical education and continuing lifelong learning; however, little is known about the review process itself. This study examined ways in which structured review impacted students' recall and use of different types of neuroanatomical information, categorized as general constructs, fundamental content, and advanced content.

METHOD: Seven months after completing first-year neuroscience, medical students were given equivalent short-answer tests requiring description of pathways and localization of lesions both before and after a review of clinically related neuroanatomy. Scores that reflected the three different types of information were compared.

RESULTS: Prereview, students recalled General Constructs of neuroanatomy, with little additional Fundamental or Advanced Content. Postreview, Fundamental Content and Advanced Content scores both increased significantly.

CONCLUSIONS: Reviews appear to enhance recall of related content, not only isolated facts. The review process may thus have unrealized potential as an educational strategy in medical training.

DOI of Published Version



Acad Med. 2009 Oct;84(10 Suppl):S34-7. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID