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Purpose: Anatomy is a challenging course in medical school, in part because of the vast number of facts that must be memorized. Current literature suggests the value of spaced repetition in the learning of factual information, and online tools such as Anki flashcards have been developed to facilitate it. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of curriculum-specific Anki flashcards as a study tool for first year medical students learning anatomy.

Methods: A set of Anki flashcards was created for the anatomy thread of the first block (i.e. back, pectoral, shoulder, vertebral regions) of the JeffMD curriculum at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Upon completion of an initial survey, study volunteers were provided with the curriculum-specific flashcards. Following the Block 1 anatomy exam, another survey was administered to gather data regarding participants’ usage and opinions of the flashcards.

Results and Conclusions: 143 students completed the initial survey and were provided with the flashcards. Of the 78 students that used the curriculum-specific flashcards, 20.1% found them extremely helpful, 29.5% very helpful, 33.3% moderately helpful, 15.4% slightly helpful, and 1.3% not at all helpful. Moreover, 60.3% believed that the flashcards helped reduce anxiety related to the anatomy, 18.0% did not believe they reduced anxiety, and 12.8% either did not answer or selected “other”. These results suggest that spaced repetition of anatomy facts through curriculum-specific Anki flashcards may have a positive impact on affective learning outcomes among first year medical students.