WVU plans for phased return to campuses for fall 2020 semester. Visit Return to Campus: Health Sciences for information. Visit coronavirus.wvu.edu for the latest regarding COVID-19.

Practical Anatomy & Surgical Skills (PASS)

LOCATION: WVU Health Sciences Center Anatomy Lab, Morgantown, WV
PRECEPTORS: Alan Thomay, MD and David Borgstrom, MD
DURATION: 4 weeks
OFFERED: Block 8
MAXIMUM ENROLLMENT: Minimum 4 and a max of 15 students (WVU medical students only)
STATUS: Elective


This course is comprised of a four week block that will combine precepted anatomic dissection, various imaging modalities, gross pathology, and exposure to clinical diagnostic studies and therapeutic interventions appropriate to the subsection under review. The anatomy lectures and dissection periods are scheduled and fixed as regards time and place. Small groups of 2-3 students will be arranged to allow for adequate exposure to operations, labs, and some imaging experiences.


  1. Teach future clinicians basic surgical exposures and anatomical references for general surgery and the surgical sub-specialties.
  2. Review of the anatomic regions/systems under consideration and their correlation with the surgical considerations present.
  3. The student must be able to integrate the anatomic facts with the imaging modalities being studied.
  4. The student will appreciate the pathology of the disorder being treated and correlate that with the anatomy under review.
  5. The student is expected to understand the physiologic basis of the diagnostic studies and treatment plan.
  6. The student is expected to understand the basic surgical exposure for a variety of procedures.

Methods to Achieve Objectives

  1. Small group cadaver dissections using specific surgical approaches to teach basic and standard surgical exposures for the above subspecialties.
  2. Teaching staff will consist of the Department of Anatomy as well as surgeons in each of the subspecialties.
  3. Lectures will consist of the basic steps in the surgical procedure followed by a hands-on lecture in the anatomy lab to emphasize the pertinent anatomical structures.

Examination Procedures and Evaluation Criteria

Daily participation in lecture and anatomy lab. Oral teaching with student interaction.

Pre-Rotation Instructions

Please contact Ms. Rochelle Thomas, rochelle.thomas@hsc.wvu.edu two weeks prior to rotation start date.