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Dissecting the Kenhub Atlas: Insights from Editor Mike Pascoe | TAPP 144

Dissecting the Kenhub Atlas: Insights from Editor Mike Pascoe

TAPP Radio Episode 144


Episode | Quick Take

Mike Pascoe joins host Kevin Patton in Episode 144 to chat about Mike’s experience in editing the new Kenhub Atlas of Human Anatomy. We go behind the scenes to see how this new kind of anatomy atlas was developed. Let’s see how those decisions get made and how the learning perspective gets incorporated into anatomy manuals. And we explore diverse representation in anatomy images and why we won’t find any eponyms in this atlas. We also have a brief remembrance of our friend David Allard.

  • 00:00 | Introduction
  • 00:45 | Remembering David Allard
  • 04:25 | Introducing Mike Pascoe
  • 06:12 | A New Take on the Human Atlas
  • 19:00 | Debriefing and Predictions Ahead
  • 19:55 | Creating Books
  • 34:25 | Your New Thing
  • 35:44 | More Features of the New Atlas
  • 47:27 | Staying Connected


Episode | Listen Now

Episode | Notes

The light of the heart is hidden in a drop of blood. (Rumi)


Remembering David Allard

3.5 minutes

In this segment, Kevin reflects on the recent passing of a friend and colleague, David Allard of Texas A&M University-Texarkana, who was an exceptional educator and human being. Kevin finds inspiration from David’s generosity and commitment to his students and peers.

Muscle: A Gripping Story by Roy Meals | TAPP 142 (mentioned in this segment)

The One Teaching Strategy That Will Fix Your Anatomy & Physiology Course | TAPP 143 (where I talk about generosity in teaching)

★ Longtime Texarkana College and Texas A&M University-Texarkana biology professor David Allard dies (from Texarkana Gazette) AandP.info/qll

★ Dr David Allard Memorial Service 11-30-23 youtu.be/Gi2ZunUtMxk

★ Two new species of sand-burrowing amphipods of the genus Haustorius Müller, 1775 (Amphipoda: Haustoriidae) from the northwestern Gulf of Mexico (journal article in Zootaxa by David Allard’s former student Zachary Hancock, who named one of the new species after David [Haustorius allardi]) https://aandp.info/rzp

★ Dr. David & Ellen Allard Endowment Scholarship (in case you want to make a donation in David’s memory) tamut.edu/give/index.html

Please rate & review The A&P Professor—it helps others decide whether to give us a try! 😁


Dissecting the Kenhub Atlas: Insights from Editor Mike Pascoe | TAPP 144  

Introducing Mike Pascoe

2 minutes

In this segment, we introduce the guest for the episode, Mike Pascoe, who is an associate professor of anatomy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Mike is involved in developing and delivering anatomy curricula to various student groups and has a research interest in innovative learning approaches. He’s the editor of a new learning resource, the Kenhub Atlas of Human Anatomy.

★ Here is a single link with everything about the new atlas in it: linktr.ee/kenhubatlas

★ Additional links:

★ ★ www.kenhub.com/en/atlas-of-human-anatomy

★ ★ www.goodreads.com/book/show/200471864

★ The A&P Professor Book Club (our own recommendation of the new atlas) theAPprofessor.org/kenhub-atlas


A New Take on the Human Atlas

13 minutes

Editor Mike Pascoe describes his new Kenhub Atlas of Human Anatomy. First, we look at the relationship of the innovative, disruptive Kenhub website and this new print manual. Mike mentions how Kenhub often ranks high in web searches and how they aim to make their atlas concise and lead readers to a larger library of materials using QR code scanning. The convenience and accessibility of QR codes, easily scanned with smartphones, and the pocket-sized form factor of the atlas, making it easy to carry around in a lab setting.


Debriefing and Predictions Ahead

1 minute

Coming soon will be our annual debriefing episode that features predictions for anatomy and physiology teaching in the coming year ahead. What are your predictions or concerns for the next year? What are you excited about? Why not share your thoughts?

Share it with us on the podcast hotline!


Or send an email to podcast@theAPprofessor.org

★ Review a Year. Preview a Year. | Debriefing & Predictions | TAPP 132


Creating Books

14.5 minutes

In this segment, we shift the conversations toward the process of creating a textbook or atlas and the many design considerations that happen behind the scenes. We discuss inclusion and diversity in both art representation and in anatomic terminology.

★ Weight Stigma! The Difficult Cadaver | Journal Club Episode | TAPP 93 (an episode where Krista Rompolski discusses weight bias)

★ Preview of Kenhub atlas linktr.ee/kenhubatlas

The Eponym Episode | Using Modern Terminology | Episode 40

More on Eponyms in A&P Terminology | Episode 41

★ NOMENs land: The place of eponyms in the anatomy classroom (article from Anatomical Science Education) AandP.info/36s


Your New Thing

1.5 minutes

Do you have book or article or project that you want to share with other anatomy and physiology faculty? Or maybe your experience trying new things in your course? Or an interesting story or experience? Here’s your forum for doing that!  Contact me if you want to be part of this podcast!


Or send an email to podcast@theAPprofessor.org


Using the New Atlas

11.5 minutes

Mike Pascoe rounds out the discussion of his Kenhub Atlas of Human Anatomy by listing some of its essential features and the things that make it a unique resource for the study of human anatomy. 



Production: Aileen Park (announcer),  Andrés Rodriguez (theme composer,  recording artist),  Karen Turner (Executive Editor), Kevin Patton (writer, editor, producer, host).

Not People

Robotic (AI) audio leveling/processing and transcription is done by Auphonic.com and Rev.com and the content, spelling, grammar, style, etc., of these episode notes are assisted by various bots, such as Grammarly and QuillBot.

Need help accessing resources locked behind a paywall?
Check out this advice from Episode 32 to get what you need!

Episode | Captioned Audiogram

Episode | Transcript

The A&P Professor podcast (TAPP radio) episodes are made for listening, not reading. This transcript is provided for your convenience, but hey, it’s just not possible to capture the emphasis and dramatic delivery of the audio version. Or the cool theme music.  Or laughs and snorts. And because it’s generated by a combo of AI robot and human transcription, it may not be exactly right. So I strongly recommend listening by clicking the audio player provided or the captioned audiogram.
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Kevin Patton (00:00):
The Persian poet and mystic Rumi once wrote, “The light of the heart is hidden in a drop of blood.”

Aileen Park (00:13):
Welcome to The A&P Professor. A few minutes to focus on teaching human anatomy and physiology with a veteran educator and teaching mentor your host, Kevin Patton.

Kevin Patton (00:29):
In episode 144, Mike Pascoe joins us to discuss his new human anatomy atlas.

Remembering David Allard

Kevin Patton (00:46):
Before we get to this episode’s featured topic, there’s something I’m going to share with you. In a recent episode, episode 142, which was a chat with Dr. Roy Meals about his new book called Muscle, a Gripping Story. In the episode notes for that episode, I thanked my friend David Allard for first introducing me to the work of Roy Meals. I first met David Allard through this podcast, through email conversations about various topics related to teaching A&P. Like me, he came to A&P through zoology, and we had a lot of other things in common too. For example, both of us had taught for decades. He at Texas A&M University, Texarkana. You may know David from HAPS, especially the HAPS listserv, where he occasionally contributed to the conversation. On November 1st, a post from David showed up on my personal Facebook feed that read simply, “We Have COVID, yuck.”

And then over the days and weeks that followed, I watched in helpless horror as more updates came first from David and then from his wife operating David’s Facebook account. These were notes about his worsening condition, his hospitalization, his transition to a ventilator in the ICU, and finally his death on November 24. Then like the bursting of a mushroom cloud, testimonials from colleagues and many, many current and former students started popping up in his Facebook feed, all painting an elaborate picture of an amazing educator and more importantly, I think, an amazing human being. Nearly all wrote of how much he cared for each of his students and the personal and professional success of each one of those students, how he continued to support and advise them long after they left his courses.

Now, in the previous episode of this podcast, episode 143, I talked about the goal of being generous with our students and with our peers. It’s obvious to me that David Allard was the embodiment of that generosity. In this podcast, I’ve often talked about how I frequently remind myself to keep working at my self-imposed project of being the kind of educator and the kind of human I want to be. To be intentional about empathy, and compassion and yes, generosity. I need inspiration to keep that work going, and I get it from many of you listening right now. Well, David was among those who inspired me and his life will continue to inspire me going forward. May the memory of David Allard and his life as an A&P professor be a blessing. Cheers, my friend.

Introducing Mike Pascoe

Kevin Patton (04:25):
At the very beginning of this episode, I told you that we’d be chatting with Mike Pascoe about his new human anatomy atlas. But before we do that, I want to introduce you to Mike. He’s an associate professor of anatomy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He studied the neurophysiology of movement at the University of Colorado Boulder and then defended his doctoral dissertation in 2010. He joined the faculty at Anschutz in 2011, where he develops and delivers gross anatomy curricula to physical therapy students, physician assistant students, and medical doctor students. His primary research interest is in the investigation of constructivist approaches in technology enabled learning environments to improve learning outcomes and student satisfaction. For example, using wikis, interactive modules or using Snapchat. A secondary interest is the determination of need-to-know anatomy content for physical therapy students. Mike Pascoe’s service commitments include mentoring students, organizing anatomy, laboratory refresher courses for practicing clinicians, community outreach and service as a peer reviewer for a whole bunch of anatomy education journals. If you want to learn more about Mike or connect with him, go to his website at MikePascoe.com M-I-K-E-P-A-S-C-O-E dot com.

A New Take on the Human Atlas

Kevin Patton (06:12):
Well, hi Mike, it’s really good to talk to you today.

Mike Pascoe (06:15):
Yeah. Hey, Kevin. Glad to be here.

Kevin Patton (06:17):
You and I have known each other for a little bit, well at least corresponded and communicated on various things, and I was really delighted to see this really interesting and exciting thing that is happening in your professional life. And that is a publication of a new book that you’re the main editor of, and it’s called the Atlas of Human Anatomy from Kenhub. I have all kinds of questions about it, but before we get that far, I just thought maybe for people who don’t know, what is Kenhub?

Mike Pascoe (06:55):
Great question, get it quite often. And I think that’s because they are a company that has started in Europe and has really taken off and become quite popular in Europe and Asia. And I think that that’s maybe why many of my American colleagues and students don’t really know what’s going on, and I really picture them as a disruptive, innovative anatomy startup company. So I think in another life I was a tech startup person and going to school in Boulder, Colorado, I would sit in on all these different tech startup, “Oh, we’re launching a new app. We’re launching a new platform.” And so when I saw this company probably on social media, probably on Twitter making a splash, I really immediately introduced myself and told them what I was about, praised them for their innovative approaches.

And so if you go to Kenhub.com, you’ll definitely learn all about them and what they offer. And they’re just a great online learning platform. And there are a lot of really bright young people behind the company, and there’s a lot of physicians and other healthcare professionals guiding the content, writing the content. I couldn’t say enough positive things. And then when they approached me with this opportunity to do something much more formal and edit their anatomy atlas, they’re very much a digital web-based entity. They wanted to enter the print market. And so here we are, after a couple of years of work, of course, things have come to fruition and that’s Kenhub.

Kevin Patton (08:25):
Okay, yeah, I was familiar with Kenhub before I saw that this book was published and that you were a major player in that process. And I went back to their website to look at it, because it had been a little while since I’d been in there, and it just seems to always be getting better. There’s just always more stuff and more tools, and that’s really great to see that they’re expanding and as you say, they wanted to get into the print market. So that was a question I had when I saw this is they have this beautiful website, a very functional website, easily usable website. Why would they want to get into another kind of venue, another kind of media or specifically why this book?

Mike Pascoe (09:15):
Oh, great questions. Yeah, you’re right. So much good content. Do a Google search on something anatomy related, you’ll probably have Wikipedia number one, and then Kenhub will probably be the second result. A lot of good articles and content. I think what they’re trying to do is we talked about how the content could be more accessible and gain a wider audience. We talked about all kinds of things, we talked about the way that now, especially since the COVID pandemic, we all became a little bit more familiar with spanning going from analog to digital scanning QR codes. So we definitely saw a way to make an atlas that could be concise and then lead readers and users to a bigger library of material using QR code scanning.

And there was also a little bit of an interesting aspect as well, this kind of cultural thing of every healthcare profession student wants a really nice atlas that they can physically hold. They want to have it on their bookshelf as a practicing clinician. Now, I am a PhD by training, so this did not resonate with me whatsoever, but I trusted them. I asked around, I actually surveyed around a hundred of my students and said, when it comes to anatomy atlases, what’s best? Is it analog or digital? They said analog. They want to hold an atlas in their hands. And that’s what we led with. We led with student input and student perspectives.

Kevin Patton (10:40):
That resonates with me a little bit. I also am not a clinician. I’m a PhD and I teach mainly undergraduate A&P, but I also teach in a master’s program for Northeast College of Health Sciences where we have the Master of Science in human anatomy & physiology instruction. So these are people that have taught A&P, or want to teach A&P, and they’re learning about teaching and about refreshing the content, bringing themselves up to date as far as the content that we teach. And one of the things that we do is during one of our trimesters, we have two courses where they are using both a print version of the textbook that we’re using and a digital version of the textbook that they’re using. And at the end, they do a reflection. They read each other’s reflections and comment on them and so on. And of course, I’m always interested to see what their reflection of that experience is.

Are they going to come down on the side of digital, are they going to come down the side of a print? And the end result is always interesting. It’s almost, I ought to do a study on this or something, it’s almost always sort of straddling both sides. They like some things about the digital, they like the searchability of the digital and some of those things and the fact that it’s accessible almost anywhere they go, but they said, “I just can’t do without my print, without the print version. I need that.” And it seems that Kenhub is answering that need of, they already have the website, very rich website, and now they’re providing that print part for the folks that really want that, and need that and rely on having that print.

And I have to say I’m the same way, that there are some things about the digital resources that I like, but I sure do like, especially with anatomy, being able to really pour over that page and look at it. Yeah, I think they’re going to find that’s a good move. And that does answer another question I had is like, are they looking to replace the website, get rid of the website and so on, but I guess that’s not the case. They’re just expanding, right?

Mike Pascoe (13:01):
Yeah, bridging. It is probably a great marketing tactic. You’ve got one product that will lead the user to another great product, and so this could definitely be a point of entry into the Kenhub platform. First exposure might be, “Oh, my anatomy professor’s recommending this as an atlas,” reading all the great reviews online, “Oh and hey, what are these QR codes? Oh, wait a minute, there’s quizzes, there’s videos, there’s articles.” There’s all these things that are dynamic and always improving on the website. So yeah, I think it’s a great compliment for sure.

Kevin Patton (13:34):
Well, I’m glad you brought up those QR codes. I noticed that that’s a feature of this book and something that makes it pretty unique. And you already touched on this idea that students can have a relatively concise atlas in a print form, but then when they want to dive deeper, then they can scan that QR code. And as you mentioned, everybody knows how to use a QR code now. So I remember the days when that sort of thing was a big hurdle. It was like, “What?” And just ignore those little funny little things in the corner, but I really like that idea. Can you talk a little bit about the thought process that went into that approach?

Mike Pascoe (14:27):
Yeah, absolutely. We know that almost every learner has some kind of access to a smartphone, so we thought it would be something accessible to many learners. And again, we really wanted to make sure based on the form factor, don’t forget this new atlas is nine inches by six inches. So it is small form factor, and I have confirmed this. It does fit in a anatomy lab coat front pocket. Don’t want you to put your hands in, of course. Not the chest, that would be awkward. But yeah, down near the waist. And we really did not want this thing to be too bulky, so we hit our goal of one inch in thickness.

And so then we just needed a way to link and extend the rich content beyond the page, and we thought it was time to just try to put QR codes in there. And I’m assuming that the folks at Kenhub, our web development team, they’re going to be able to quantify how often those are used and just see where we go. And we think that society and has been kind of trained on how to use these now. And I know my phone has a very quick access QR code scanning app on it. It’s accessible from my lock screen so I can get to whatever a QR code is pointing to really quickly.

Kevin Patton (15:43):
Well, I can imagine that pocket-size and thank you for testing it, increase our confidence before we buy it that it’s going to fit in our lab coat pocket. That’s so nice to have that handy, because we’re all familiar with atlases that I’m looking at some on my shelf right now, atlases that you can’t really carry around in a lab. It’s just too heavy, and awkward, and messy and some of them, you almost need a magnifying glass to see that detail that you’re looking for in the moment. And so having a pocket-size print resource like that that you can hold in your hand, then not only can you quickly find things, because it’s organized regionally as you would expect, but you can flip through just a small number of pages and get right to the area that you’re at. And then if that’s not really enough of what you’re looking for, then you can quickly scan and get to other resources.

That ability to do that is really great. And so I was really intrigued when I saw those QR codes. Have you gotten any feedback on that yet? I know it is brand new, by the way. I guess we ought to mention that this hasn’t been out there being used by hundreds or thousands of people yet, because it just came out. As a matter of fact, I’ve just been looking at a sample myself. My copy was supposed to arrive today, so it should be here any day, any moment. Maybe it’ll come in, somebody will hand it to me while we’re talking. I don’t know. But the thing is I want to emphasize is brand, brand new. It’s just getting out there. I know that you haven’t had a lot of users, but reviewers and so on and even other people working on the team. Have you gotten any kind of feedback on those QR codes about the usability of them and the convenience of them and so on?

Mike Pascoe (17:47):
Yeah, I’d say the testing has all been in-house and I learned a great deal about how a textbook is made, how a textbook is born, and there is this proof stage where the only real reason why I have a copy is I have the proof copy from four or five months ago, and there’ve been some changes we made based off of reviewing that and holding it in our hands. But basically all the testing has been done, and this was very much something that we came up with as developers, and it was not suggested by students, although I just want to keep mentioning students gave us so many good ideas on how to design this thing, but became available October 27, so about three weeks ago today. And I really don’t think I have any more on the QR codes, but I would be very interested in the analytics, the tracking data, very tech-savvy tech startup company, and I’m sure they have all kinds of analytics to provide. And I’m really interested in doing some focus groups and some interviewing of students getting this in their hands, asking them what they think.

Kevin Patton (18:53):
Mike Pascoe, and I will be back right after this short break.

Debriefing and Predictions Ahead

Kevin Patton (19:00):
Hey, I want to pause for just a moment and remind you that coming up pretty soon is our annual debriefing episode, and that’s where I look back over all the topics and all the episodes of this past year, and that helps us confirm what we learned, what growth we had and pull it all together. And so we’ll do that briefly and then we’ll move on into predictions for the coming year. I’ll check my predictions from last year and see how far off the mark I was and then make some new predictions for the coming year. And I sure would love it if you would call in, or email or whatever with your predictions, or your concerns or what you’re looking forward to in the next year of teaching anatomy and physiology. I hope to hear from you soon.

Creating Books

Kevin Patton (19:55):
Well, you touched on something else I wanted to ask you about. So having worked on textbooks myself, I think a lot of people don’t appreciate that there’s a lot of weird things that go on behind the scenes. And what I mean by that is there’s a lot of steps to getting a book like this out that I think most of us don’t realize unless we’ve been through all of those steps. I think a lot of us in academia are part of this little step or that little step for various books or articles and things like that, but from start to finish, I don’t think a lot of people appreciate that. What was that like being part of that whole complicated process?

Mike Pascoe (20:43):
Yeah, it was a learning experience. It is my first experience working in the textbook space of any kind. So it was very cool to be asked to be given an opportunity to be an editor, and I was really welcomed into the team and they run everything again, just like a tech startup company. They’ve got Trello boards, there’s Slack channels. It’s so effective, it’s so efficient. The decision-making process is just really cool to be a part of and to see how they have already organized, “Okay, this is how we’re going to approach the construction of the content. Pascoe, you’re going to review every word of this book. You’re going to write in things when needed. You’re going to suggest pruning away things when needed.” And that’s all basically based on my experience teaching PA, PT, MD, master’s level, dental, working with all these students trying to hit the target audience.

And so it was really neat to be part of the process and see how that was done. And it is definitely representing a next step, a next evolution in scholarly activity. It’s somewhat similar, but in many ways different than working on an article for a journal publication. And it was really, gosh, I want to say addicting. It was really cool to go through these iterations and evolutions of the book, to see it come along, to see it grow, and then when it actually comes to fruition, it’s just a rush that I’ve never had in this kind of work before. So yeah, we could go down that discussion a lot further if you want, but it was definitely, as you’ve experienced, a pretty neat and pretty unique.

Kevin Patton (22:18):
There are just so many layers. And one of the things that I’ve always appreciated that really resonates with me what you said about working in a team, I love that process of bouncing ideas off of each other and going back and forth on things and what have you. And I have a very excellent team that I work with also, and there’s something really magical when things click like that, so I’m glad to hear that that happened for you. Let’s get to something that just really knocked me on the floor when I looked at the sample, and that is the sample that you sent me. It has a two-page, little explanation of the vision of your team in promoting a vision that includes diversity and inclusion. And I think that that’s on all of our minds these days in academia and certainly within the anatomy and physiology, community of educators.

And I think our students are very keyed in on that as well. Here’s a book that from the start is having that vision. And so I start looking at some of the samples and the representation angle first of all, it just looks really cool. It’s not that same, and I think the wording that I use is very similar to what was in that little explanation that’s in the book itself. And that is it’s not that same young fit white male that we always see being represented in anatomy books and other resources. So tell me about how that developed and in your experience of implementing that.

Mike Pascoe (24:09):
Yeah, that was definitely an idea that was fostered both by the entire team at Kenhub, which itself is a very diverse team. And then I definitely supported this idea and helped to add to it and have benefited from being part of groups, and going to conferences and going to sessions called Decolonization of Anatomy Education. What is going on with that? As a white man, this stuff just totally, I don’t see this. I’m in the dream. My blinders are on to all these things. So I’ve been very fortunate to be exposed to these ideas and these experiences by other people that don’t look like me. And so now I’m really in on this and we took a survey in our faculty and it’s one of these strength finding surveys, and my number one strength was inclusion. So I have it in my DNA and now I’m just finding really great ways to get it out there and to leverage and to speak and to help and partner with people.

And so it definitely was a co-evolution, Kenhub definitely recognize this need. And then I brought the angle from the academic perspective like, “Oh, hey, did you know 90% of anatomy atlases surveyed do not represent bodies that are other than?” And so it was really good to bring them that academic perspective, because they very much understood this need. And then it was years ago, I forget who recommended, let’s make a statement almost like a mission statement, a vision, and let’s put it in the front of the book. This is page three of the book. This is after the imprint. This is right up in front of the user. And this is something so important, and I know it’s something that we all talk about in our anatomy classes. People like to tell me, “Hey, the human body doesn’t change the structures where they’re located.”

And I play along with that and say, “Yeah, okay. But the way we teach it can definitely change and definitely be better.” And we’re talking about young adults, adult learners, they’re ready to have these conversations. We got to be ready as educators. They’re going to ask us these questions. Where are the Black women in our anatomy atlas, Dr. so-and-so what’s going on there? And so I think we need to be ready and we’re getting better. A lot of work needs to be done. And that is my recollection of where that came from. It was definitely a co-evolution. It was a very easy sell and I’m very proud of it, and that’s one of the features I like to lead with when I’m discussing the atlas. So thank you Kevin for bringing that up.

Kevin Patton (26:39):
As you were explaining that, I have the sample that you sent up on one of my monitors here, and I was kind of gazing off at that while we’re talking. I noticed the one sample… A lot of times when I hear of books making an effort to be diverse in the representation, I think of, okay, sex diversity and also color of skin and so on. And that’s certainly a part of the sample that I see here and part of the explanation of what you mean by diversity in that section that you just talked about at the beginning of the book, but something that pleasantly surprised me when I get to it. The first example, I think it’s the first one here in the sample. No, it’s not. It’s the second one, shows a Black man, but he’s obese. And so now we have diversity of body size and shape. And that’s not something that you see, historically at least, in anatomy books. Hopefully we’re going to see more of that going forward throughout all of anatomy education, but you’re not just looking at one kind of diversity or representing one subgroup of humanity, but it looks like you’re really being diverse in your diversity.

Mike Pascoe (28:06):
Well, I have to lean on those that are really in this space and not pretend that I know what diversity means. I need to get feedback from people. And so working with people like Dr. Krista Rompolski and her work on weight bias, we know it’s a problem. And so different body sizes is a big thing. And you did mention have any people, academics, giving this a look over for feedback, and that free preview you’re mentioning is available to everybody that goes to the webpage for the atlas. And it’s the first 27 pages basically are available.

A group at the University of Plymouth, the Peninsula Medical School, specifically Siobhan, Lilly and Katy, they looked at the sample and they gave me point by point thematic feedback, because my goal would be to have a second edition of this because of all the feedback we receive. And look what I overlooked. Look what I did not consider. Age and disability are not mentioned and they’re not represented. So also the range of different shapes and sizes of breast and genitalia, these are student led comments and feedback. And again, this is what I need and this is the people I need to listen to. And so they’re guiding us and coaching us, and I would love to see those added in to our vision of diversity.

Kevin Patton (29:23):
That reminds me of experience I had when I was in your position with the first book that I worked on, and I had a co-author who had been doing this for decades, and I was expressing a similar sentiment about something, I can’t remember what it was, but some aspect of that edition. And he said, “Well, that’s what next editions are for.” He says, “Keep a keep a file.” And I think that’s right. That’s another aspect I think of doing textbooks is that it’s not a one and done thing. It’s a continuous process of evolution.

Mike Pascoe (30:04):
I do want to add to that what we do put in our books demonstrates our priorities. So if we’re going to sacrifice space or time for one thing so that we can do something else, it demonstrates that the thing that we are doing is valuable. So we’re not doing it perfect. We need the feedback, we want the feedback. I talked about diversity, and then I look at the cover of the book and I’m like, “Shoot, man, look at what we did. We put what could be identified as a white male that is young on the cover.” So I don’t know. Again, I’ve got this biased view of the world being a white male, and I need to get some feedback from people, and I’m very receptive and open to that. So yeah, hopefully this podcast episode opens that door.

Kevin Patton (30:50):
Another aspect that I noticed that you mentioned in the introductory material of the book that relates to this is avoiding eponyms, so what’s that about?

Mike Pascoe (31:02):
Yeah, it’s about representation and it’s about a lot of things. So since we just came off of that previous discussion, it is about recognizing that a huge majority of eponyms are representing white men that are typically centuries old. So to borrow from colleagues in a great paper like nomenclature, we don’t need to use these terms when we’re teaching anatomy that eponyms are male, pale and stale, and this is a phrase that I take from their work and share with my students, and the students really understand what that means. And so we have that problem with eponyms. We also have the problem of cognitive load. So now you’re teaching them the circle of Willis, and then when they hear the circle of Willis, there is that added burden of circle of Willis that is a cerebral arterial circle. And then now I can start to recall what that is comprised of.

So we have to cut down on that extraneous load. And there was a recent publication out on some of these eponyms are false friends. They aren’t even really telling us, we think we know what they are, but they even misdirect us and misguide us from a knowledge perspective. So there is that problematic societal problem, but then there’s also the cognitive problem. So you can definitely argue this with people from multiple different angles and hopefully they’ll get the picture in different ways. And again, part of the feedback that I got from the Plymouth group was, thank you in the Kenhub Atlas for de-emphasizing eponyms leading with the terminology and anatomic toponym then in parentheses the eponym.

But could you please consider just dropping the eponym altogether? And I’m totally in favor of that. Over the last couple of years, I’ve barely mentioned an eponym in my classroom. I’m actually getting to the point where people are asking me about the pouch of Douglas and I have to defer them somewhere else. Like, “I don’t teach that I am sorry.” I don’t know what that is, and I don’t know if I should know as an anatomy professor, but I also, it doesn’t mean anything to me.

So I’m starting to lose meaning and cerebral space for these eponyms. So this is a big problem, and I stand on the work of a lot of people that have done a lot of good things in this space, and it’s laid out on page three of our atlas. And I encourage everybody to look at that and ask themselves what are they doing with eponyms and what signal is it sending to their learners?

Kevin Patton (33:27):
I feel like it’s a very interesting experience being in this transition period where we’re leaving eponyms behind. And I think that’s cool that you’re taking that step of just leaving them behind.

Mike Pascoe (33:41):
And it must be hard to put down eponyms, but it’s probably also really hard to not see yourself represented in your learning materials or to not have that feeling of, “Oh, there’s something great in the history of America. Is it going to be my people represented as the people that were doing that?” So I really have very little sympathy for, “Oh, it must be hard to stop using eponyms.” Geez, it must be hard. I mean, it’s all relative, right? So I can’t possibly justify for myself how hard that is to put that down. There’s some real hard stuff out there. So that’s just the last thing that I’ll add there.

Your New Thing

Kevin Patton (34:26):
We’ll get back to our chat in just a moment, but before we do, I want you to think about something and that is, don’t you have something to share with anatomy and physiology faculty? Maybe it’s a book like we’re talking about today, but maybe it’s an article that you wrote or even an article that you recently read and you got a lot out of it that you want to share with other anatomy and physiology faculty. Or maybe it’s some project that you’ve been working on or some project that you’ve experienced the benefit from. Why not share it with several hundred other A&P faculty so that they can get those benefits so they can understand what’s going on so that they can be as excited as you are about that new thing in your life.

Well, all you got to do is call the podcast hotline, which I’ll be giving you at the end of this episode or drop me a line and we’ll chat about that and you can be the next one that we talk to about your project, your article, your book, your new thing that is helping you teach anatomy and physiology.

Using the New Atlas

Kevin Patton (35:44):
Well, I’m back again here with Mike Pascoe, who is the editor of the new Kenhub Atlas of Human Anatomy. Here we have this pocket-size atlas. And by the way, I just want to mention I really love the interior design of the book. It’s super easy to use, especially if you’re using it straight out of your pocket, where you open it up and it’s got a very, I don’t know, I want to say simple, but I’m afraid that’ll be taken as a slam, but it’s not. That is a very clean design and very easy to navigate on the page and very easy to spot where it is you need to look to find the information that you need. And the labeling is awesome.

A lot of anatomy atlases, the labels are just crazy all over the place. And it’s like you have to stop and take a few minutes just to figure out what’s pointing to what, but here it’s not. It’s just a very well-thought-out design. So kudos for that. But okay, so we take it out of our pocket. We find what we’re looking for on the page there, but in what context am I using that? In other words, like in your teaching, I assume you’re going to either recommend or require this for your students, at least in some of your courses. How do you see you and them using this book?

Mike Pascoe (37:14):
Yeah, I was invited to write a section of the book that describes how I envision or how we envision students using this, and the title of that section is Built for Learners. And so again, it’s important to recognize that students told us how do you use anatomy atlases? And there were two main things that came up. They used them in anatomy lab to locate structures in our donors, and they used them to study on exams. Now, fortunately, we didn’t dig any deeper into that on what that looks like. How do you use an anatomy atlas to study for an exam? But I think that what we have in the atlas that really facilitates learning is we have a lot of fact tables and the fact tables are effective ways of organizing content. And if you’ve taught anatomy for a significant amount of time, you want to move students away from the stigma of anatomies memorization to a place of these are the patterns, these are the rules of anatomy, these are the threads, and now you can deduce what the action of the muscle is or what the innervation is.

And so in my teaching and in the teaching of others that have role-modeled this to me, tables have been very helpful. Tables reveal patterns. When you see cells of the table have the same content, you can collapse those in your mind. “Oh, everything in the anterior thigh is innervated by the femoral nerve.” There’s always exceptions except for, and then you get to unweight, or unload, unburden yourself from memorizing all those facts. So that’s my vision. My vision is students are going to use this in anatomy lab to locate things. It’s quick and easy to navigate. They directed a lot of the structure of what that would look like, what that would be like. They’re going to have this at home, they’re going to be studying, and actually because of the portability, they could have it on campus, or at home or they could move it around pretty easily.

And they’re going to be using these tables. And then if they would like to, if they see what is available at the Kenhub website, they want to do some of these quizzes where a structure is now labeled in a certain color. And then they get to choose, okay, this is the what or the question stem is, which one of these is teres minor? And then they have four images from the atlas with various muscles highlighted. So I think that’s the way that students would use this. We want to make sure it’s more than passive as a tool. We don’t want them to read and reread and to highlight, that is never advocated for, that is not supported in the cognitive neuroscience literature.

So I think the next step would be to get learners fully on board with that blank chart, that blank table challenge, study the table in the atlas, then recreate the table, but make it blank. Try to fill it in and then use the atlas table as your answer key. And always making sure what you’re doing is lined up with your instructor’s learning objectives. That’s some of the ways that I envision students using this, and that’s how I would tell them. So when Kenhub said, “Let’s make this explicit, could you write a couple paragraphs that’s in the front matter in that free 27 page PDF anyone could download?” It’s all there.

Kevin Patton (40:27):
I’ve always been a fan of tables for the very reasons that you explained. Again, another aspect of this book that really resonates with me. So I’m even more excited about it now after talking to you about this book. And I’m really anxious for my copy to arrive and I can look at it some more and really pour through it. Are there any other things about the book that you think that people ought know? Maybe any unique features, or approaches or things about the way it’s put together?

Mike Pascoe (40:59):
Yeah, I mean, I’ll just run through the quick student feedback. Students surveyed, they preferred paper for an atlas, studying for an exam, finding a structure in lab. We just talked about. I have not seen an anatomy atlas that has the indexing tabs on the cover. So I was in anatomy lab with the med students just last week, and a student was fumbling through trying to find something related to the lungs, and so they really had no sense of where to go. And the atlas was already open, so it’s really hard for them to navigate. Do you go to a table of contents? Do you go to the index? With the Kenhub Atlas, you go to the cover and then you can see, all right, if I want to get into the thorax, I’ll get there within a matter of seconds. And then the students told us, get there by region. And then arrange each region by system.

And this is not novel, but it’s definitely an agreed-upon standard, maybe some surface anatomy, then some skeletal anatomy, maybe some muscles next. Neurovasculature. So the organization is pretty intuitive. The indexing of the tabs on the cover, definitely something that we wanted to innovate in. The size is small. And then the high quality illustrations. So these are some top-notch world-class illustrators. The illustration team has done amazing work, and that was definitely a requested, highly named feature of an anatomy atlas. And let’s be real with learners with fixed budgets, the price.

So I know the price is dynamic, but I will say that generally speaking, this atlas is offered at a third to half the price of your legacy atlases and you’ve ordered one, so you could speak to that if you want, but we’ve got it there. And then even at a further reduced rate, it is available as an ebook, think like Kindle, think Apple Books, if there are those… A third of learners said we really prefer a digital anatomy atlas. It’s totally available and out there for sure. Those are the last ideas of, to answer your question, what else stands out about this for sure.

Kevin Patton (43:06):
I had glanced at the navigation with the tabs on the cover and then didn’t go back to it and look more closely. So I’m glad you mentioned that. I think that’s really awesome. I love using tabs to navigate in a book myself, and that’s awesome to have them on the cover, so that makes it so much easier. That and the other things that you listed and the things that we’ve talked about really tell me that you and your team have really put a lot of thought into the student perspective in terms of usability. And I don’t know that that always happens in some of the books that I’ve seen. And I know that sometimes when I have sort of an idea of how to make one of our books a little bit more usable, it’s kind of an effort to push that idea forward and because it’s not always like other books and so on when you do that, but you folks made some bold moves here, I think, in the whole group of things that you’re doing, and that’s great that you’re doing that from the beginning, from your first edition.

So I’m really happy with this. And honestly, you asked about the price. I don’t remember what I paid, and I’m not sure if I can get to it very quickly here what the price I paid, but I do remember thinking that, boy, this is a lot less than, well, I won’t name any names, but some of the other big atlases and almost certainly is going to be more useful to students in terms of their learning. I’m really impressed with this. Mike, you did an awesome job with this and I trust that you’re going to continue to have a good time working with the team over at Kenhub. It sounds like an awesome team to work with. I appreciate you spending a little bit of time talking about your book. Maybe come back on again some time and we can dive a little bit deeper into one or more of these issues that you brought up.

Mike Pascoe (45:05):
Yeah, I would love to. Would love to see some reviews coming in. Would love to respond to those and see where we go from there. And putting this on social media in a big way. I’ll get you a link that will get everybody to all the links for engagement. And what was especially fun, I do have to mention here, not lastly because it’s least important, but I have an in-house group of feedback givers. I have my wife Stephanie and my two daughters, and they are 8 and 10 years old, and they love giving feedback to me. And so my wife’s a physical therapist, and Stephanie just gave a lot of good insight, especially in some of the musculoskeletal system, the pelvic floor, “Hey, can you come on over here and what would you think about this if you were in PT school? And what would you think about having a copy of this in your PT clinic?”

And so she provided really valuable feedback and support, and it’s just been so fun to see my kids messing around with this proof copy and asking about this and asking about that and making comments about the bodies that are represented. We are talking about these issues in our house all the time because it needs to be normalized. It’s not a problem to talk about these things and these differences, and it’s just been a lot of fun to have that in-house team as well as I’m sure you can appreciate.

Kevin Patton (46:29):
It’s great. As a matter of fact, I had a longtime friend of mine who actually, he was my mentor when I was a apprentice lion tamer, and I still keep up with him and he’s unfortunately having some health problems and he’s said, “Kevin, I keep pulling out that book you gave me 20 years ago, looking up what I got and what part they’re talking about.” And I think that’s very helpful to have people outside the intended target audience looking at it, because number one, I think it expands our audience like, “Oh, I never thought of that.” But also giving feedback from eyes that aren’t sort of already trained by other atlases. Again, Mike, I’m really happy you were able to spend time with us. You took time out of your day to talk to us, and it’s going to be really interesting to watch things as they evolve.

Staying Connected

Kevin Patton (47:27):
Well, we started off this episode by taking a moment to mark the passing of the beloved A&P professor David Allard of Texas A&M University Texarkana, and then we were joined by Mike Pascoe, editor of the New Atlas of Human Anatomy from Kenhub. Mike shared his experience and his insights regarding its creation. We learned about the vision to be inclusive and how the team made sure that diverse people were represented in the artwork, and we learned why we won’t find any eponyms in the book. And we found out why Kenhub, the creators of an already comprehensive website, wanted to expand into print media and how that relates to student preferences. Mike also shared a bit about learning the complexities of producing a textbook, the behind-the-scenes look. Mike mentioned a link to a free 27-page preview of the Atlas of Human Anatomy and other links that I know you’ll find to be useful and interesting.

For example, there’s a link to The A&P Professor Book Club recommendation of the new atlas. If you don’t see those links in your podcast player, go to the show notes at the episode page at theAPprofessor.org/144, and while you’re there, you can claim your digital credential for listening to this episode. Do you have feedback, or questions from this episode or from the atlas itself? Well, why not grab your phone and call the podcast hotline. It’s 1-833-LION-DEN or 1-833-546-6336. Or send a recording or written message to podcast@theAPprofessor.org. I’ll see you down the road.

Aileen Park (49:29):
The A&P Professor is hosted by Dr. Kevin Patton, an award-winning professor and textbook author in human anatomy and physiology.

Kevin Patton (49:49):
This podcast is slippery when wet.

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Patton, K. (2023, December 14). Dissecting the Kenhub Atlas: Insights from Editor Mike Pascoe | TAPP 144. The A&P Professor. https://theapprofessor.org/podcast-episode-144.html

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Last updated: December 13, 2023 at 15:04 pm

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