University of Massachusetts Medical School
The Image Atlas of Aging is an original UMMS educational product developed to highlight the normal age-related anatomic and histological changes within the renal system. The Image Atlas of Aging is a PowerPoint module that features normal gross and histological images to model the aging kidney – and to serve as an easily replicated prototype to eventually incorporate other organs and organ systems. The module introduces the principle of homeostenosis as a function of aging that emphasizes that aging is neither equivalent to disease nor does it signify inevitable disease. This original geriatrics content has been integrated into the first year medical student “Development, Structure, and Function” (DSF) course curriculum. This product contains two versions of the lecture: the complete presentation intended for the educator and the shortened student module.
After completion of their DSF course, the MS1 learner will be expected to:
- Explain that renal disease is not inevitable with normal aging
- Differentiate normal anatomic, physiologic, and histological differences between the young and aged kidney
- Define the principle of homeostenosis, illustrating how the renal system becomes more susceptible to acute injury with the loss of age-related functional reserve
There is a dearth of existing available educational resources that pictorially contrast normal age-related anatomic and histological organ system changes. (Most of the available resources demonstrate normal versus pathologic.)
Pivotal to Image Atlas completion was developing partnerships with the UMMS pathology department and anatomy and cell biology division. UMMS' Advancing Geriatrics Education (AGE)/Reynolds summer student, UMMS MS2 Patrick Bonavitacola, forged new working relationships with the director of surgical pathology and renal pathology, the current chief resident, and the co-director of the MS1 DSF course. Existing images were culled from: 1) the former chief of pathology's legacy slide collection within the UMMS pathology department, 2) dissections in the anatomy lab; and 3) recent autopsies in the pathology lab. Images were also incorporated from local textbooks and an image database taken with permission from the University of Connecticut.
Formal discussions have been held with the DSF course directors, who are currently reviewing the PowerPoint module and strategizing how to best integrate this model and original content into the DSF curriulum. UMMS geriatricians will teach from this curriculum in the anatomy lab this fall.