ABSTRACT: Anatomy education for the YouTube generation
Anatomy remains a cornerstone of medical education despite challenges that have seen a significant reduction in contact hours over recent decades; however, the rise of the “YouTube Generation” or “Generation Connected” (Gen C), offers new possibilities for anatomy education. Gen C, which consists of 80% Millennials, actively interact with social media and integrate it into their education experience. Most are willing to merge their online presence with their degree programs by engaging with course materials and sharing their knowledge freely using these platforms. This integration of social media into undergraduate learning, and the attitudes and mindset of Gen C, who routinely creates and publishes blogs, podcasts, and videos online, has changed traditional learning approaches and the student/teacher relationship. To gauge this, second year undergraduate medical and radiation therapy students (n = 73) were surveyed regarding their use of online social media in relation to anatomy learning. The vast majority of students had employed web-based platforms to source information with 78% using YouTube as their primary source of anatomy-related video clips. These findings suggest that the academic anatomy community may find value in the integration of social media into blended learning approaches in anatomy programs. This will ensure continued connection with the YouTube generation of students while also allowing for academic and ethical oversight regarding the use of online video clips whose provenance may not otherwise be known.