A&P labs

Published February 6, 2018

By Steve Sullivan, Bucks County Community College


Hi, my name is Steve Sullivan, professor of Anatomy & Physiology at Bucks County Community College since 2002. Ever since I started teaching, we’ve been dissecting fetal pigs, cats, sheep brains & hearts, bovine spinal cords, etc. As much as I’d love to dissect human cadavers for Human A&P, I just don’t have access. But the reality is the vast majority of my students are studying to be clinicians… for humans!

Once your students log in, they can choose between every body system plus cells, tissues, and chemistry. After they choose, they have the option of dissection, animations, histology, or self quizzes. The dissection icon looks like a scalpel and gives them access to photos of real cadavers, which they can virtually dissect using a slider tool. Each slider peels away a layer to reveal deeper structures. When you click on the radio button the cadaver is pinned to highlight the pertinent structures. Each pin, when clicked, will also offer the student all of the important information about that structure in addition to showing all of the alternate views from which this structure can be seen. There’s even a pronunciation button, which is great for online students.

Of course the culmination of all this is being able to assess what the students have learned from APR. The great news is that there are over 1000 pre-made APR questions already ready to go in Connect. These questions cover the material in APR and use all the same images found in the program. All you have to do is open up the question bank, and make your auto-graded assignment based on whichever topic you’re covering. It’s so simple, and really gives students access to the human component of Human Anatomy & Physiology. And if you’re using cats or fetal pigs in the lab and want a resource for that, there’s an APR for you, too!

Lucky for them, McGraw-Hill Education has Anatomy & Physiology Revealed (APR), a virtual cadaver dissection simulation that I’ve been using since 2004. It comes included with your students’ Connect access or it’s available for purchase on its own.

APR is not just a digital cadaver atlas, it is an actual dissection simulator allowing the students to get an appreciation of depth, and the relationships between 3600 different anatomical structures seen in over 14,000 different views. I use it to supplement my wet lab and for online courses. I can customize it and assess what they learn from it in Connect.

In addition to gross anatomy APR offers histology for almost every tissue and organ, advanced imaging to show the clinical side of anatomy, animations to help explain the physiology associated with all these structures, and quizzes so the students can make sure they’re ready for your practical exams.

I know 3600 anatomical structures is a lot… way more than most of us could ever cover. That’s why APR is customizable. You can pick and choose which structures you want your students to see and which ones you don’t. This way your students aren’t overwhelmed with too much information. Of course, if they ever want to investigate on their own, they will always have access to the full program.

The level of investigation it allows my students to engage in is more than I’ve seen in any other cadaver program, which is why I’ve been using APR since it came in a 4-DVD set! Now, it’s totally available online and mobile-ready. I can’t stress enough how much it has helped me make my labs more pertinent to my students’ clinical trajectory and increased their interest in the material. I think you’ll find it does the same for you.