The A&P Professor

The A&P Professor

Explore human anatomy and physiology (A&P) teaching and learning with host Kevin Patton. An experienced professor, textbook author, and mentor, Kevin is a recognized leader in A&P teaching. The A&P Professor updates science content and provides practical teaching advice. Want some ideas to supercharge your A&P course? How about some support from a fellow A&P professor? This is the podcast for you!


December 8, 2022 21 min

In another of our Winter Shorts episodes, Kevin Patton discusses nine (or is it ten?) simple strategies for improving student learning of the human skeleton in the anatomy and physiology course.

00:00 | Introduction

01:07 | Strategies for Learning the Skeleton

10:10 | Sponsored by AAA, HAPI, and HAPS

11:43 | More Strategies for Learning the Skeleton

20:30 | Staying Connected


★ If you cannot see or activate the audio player, go t...

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Episode 127 is one of our winter shorts, where I replay interesting segments from previous episodes. In this one, you'll hear about the role of platelets in immunity, how the Golgi apparatus gets its weird shape, exactly how hot mitochondria get, and why we may want to consider marking assignments and tests with a green pen, rather than a red one.

  • 00:00 | Introduction
  • 01:07 | Mitochondria
  • 02:29 | Platelets
  • 07:15 | Sponsored by AAA...
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    We list ten things that we often forget to tell—or remind—our students about cells. We learn how to create a peaceful forest-like retreat in our office using soundscapes, I get my winter shorts ready (seriously), and Margaret Reece comments about teaching urinary concepts. That last topic spurs a rant from Kevin on diversity of course sections.

    00:00 | Introduction

    00:56 | Pee Again

    07:46 | A Forest in My Office

    13:54 | Sponsored b...

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    Teaching renal anatomy & physiology is tricky and sometimes difficult. In The Pee Episode I'll tell you how I know that for sure. Plus, I'll share some possible strategies for providing the clarity needed to avoid confusion and that unhelpful kind of frustration that sometimes accompanies the renal module in our course. And there's a song from Greg Crowther!

    00:00 | Introduction

    00:47 | Adventures With Tarzan

    06:51 ...

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    Dr. Krista Rompolski joins us for a Journal Club episode discussing a study regarding whether it's best to have a separate anatomy course followed by a physiology course, or to combine anatomy & physiology into an integrated two-semester sequence. We've all considered this question, haven't we? Now we have some data to discuss!

    00:00 | Introduction

    00:45 | Journal Club

    02:46 | Summary of Article

    07:23 | Long-Term Re...

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    September 20, 2022 58 min

    Host Kevin Patton revisits the concept of using the syllabus and other course documents to build a positive and productive course culture. Poop—it's everywhere! Does the font or typeface we use affect students—especially regarding learning and memory? We look for answers in this episode!

    00:00 | Introduction

    00:52 | Revisiting the Syllabus

    16:28 | Poop. Poop. Poop.

    19:00 | Sponsored by AAA

    19:59 | Fonts Are Important in Teachin...

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    Veteran A&P educator and reproduction researcher Dr. Margaret Reece joins host Kevin Patton to talk about challenges of teaching human reproduction and development. Reece also briefly discusses her online resources ( and her experiences in helping overwhelmed A&P students succeed in their studies.

    00:00 | Introduction

    00:43 | Reproductive Biology

    08:13 | Sponsored by AAA

    08:58 | Ultrasound & ...

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    In The Poop Episode, host Kevin Patton applies stories from his experience monitoring digestive health in zoo and circus animals to human anatomy and physiology. We explore the frequency of defecation, and how to read poop for common health issues. This is the episode that tells you how to get an elephant to poop on command!

    00:00 | Introduction

    01:08 | Getting Our 5#!+ in Order

    07:42 | Zookeepers Know Their 5#!+

    23:13 | Sp...

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    Host Kevin Patton discusses the importance of the course syllabus in setting the tone for a course and helping to create a positive course culture. He includes a list of practical steps we can take as we review and update our anatomy and physiology course syllabus.

    00:00 | Introduction

    02:02 | What, If Anything, Is a Course Syllabus?

    13:03 | Sponsored by AAA

    14:16 | Sparking a Course Culture

    23:58 | Sponsored by HAPI

    25:07 | Odds &...

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    Phantasia, forming mental images in our mind's eye, can be enhanced by making effective visually oriented slides. Facts about biology misconceptions can stir things up when they relate to pregnancy and abortion.

  • 00:00 | Introduction
  • 00:41 | Offensive, strongly disagree or disapprove
  • 08:45 | Sponsored by AAA
  • 09:55 | Pregnant People
  • 16:27 | Sponsored by HAPI
  • 17:18 | MInd's Eye: Phantasia
  • 25:42 | Sponsored by HAPS
  • 27:13| Mental Image...
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    Host Kevin Patton uses a recent article from Science News as a basis for discussing the biological processes involved in pregnancy, birth, and abortion care to clarify misconceptions and support productive public conversation.

  • 00:00 | Introduction
  • 00:56 | Why Address These Concepts
  • 14:53 | Sponsored by AAA
  • 16:15 | Strategies
  • 21:44 | Sponsored by HAPI
  • 22:44 | Concepts & Misconceptions
  • 32:15 | Sponsored by HAPS
  • 34:44| More Concepts &...
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    Sure, we're all life-long learners. But taking an actual college course from time to time throughout our teaching career can have unexpected benefits. Olfactory adaptation helps a lot when visiting the zoo, of course, but how does it really work? Researchers have found some new answers. Did you know that cerebrospinal fluid affects the process of memory? It does and we'll find out how.

    00:00 | Introduction

    00:43 | Olfactory...

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    Host Kevin Patton talks about why our anatomy & physiology students need to experience and get comfortable with sectional anatomy, Terry Thompson shares some thoughts on deadline terminology—and she gives us a thoughtful book review and recommendation for The A&P Professor Book Club—and we review a few slide tricks.

    0:00:00 | Introduction

    0:00:50 | Expiration Dates

    0:05:02 | Sponsored by AAA

    0:06:19 | Slide Tricks (Again)


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    We once again revisit deadline extensions, we discuss warm demanders and how they avoid toxic rigor, we discover which arm is best for a vaccine booster, we find out if we can grow new auditory hair cells, we get tips on how to speak more effectively while wearing a mask, and learn about a new discovery about oxygen absorption in the intestines.  Can we breathe through our anus? Listen to find out!

    00:00 | Introduction

    01:02 | Grow...

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    Skin's microbiome is essential for health. In this episode, host Kevin Patton explores that concept and introduces a new recommendation in The A&P Professor Book Club—Clean: The New Science of the Skin. Also, science updates about B vitamins and skeletal adaptations in human birth—and a listener revisits academic integrity involved in deadline leniency.

    00:00 | Introduction

    00:45 | Revisiting Deadline Leniency

    09:21 | Spons...

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    Host Kevin Patton discusses the fact that many students hate histology. And perhaps even some faculty. Are there any ways to fix that? Kevin thinks he may have found a breakthrough idea.

    00:00 | Introduction

    01:20 | Sponsored by AAA

    02:25 | Why Do Students Hate Histology?

    16:27 | Sponsored by HAPI

    17:06 | Birding For Tissues

    39:15 | Sponsored by HAPS

    40:14 | A Breakthrough

    51:25 | Staying Connected


    ★ If you cannot see or activat...

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    In this episode, host Kevin Patton asks, how do we handle the trepidation we experience when we are flooded with uncertainty after an intense learning experience? Some thoughts about being upfront about using models, analogies, and color codes in science. And we explore that difficult question: should we extend deadlines for students when they ask?

    00:00 | Introduction

    00:43 | Trepidation After New Learning

    05:13 | Sponsored by AAA


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    Author Judi Nath stops by once more for a chat about another of her new books, this one titled Digesting Foods and Fads. We discuss the book's content, why Judi wrote it, and how we can use the book's content to become better teachers of human anatomy & physiology.

    00:00 | Introduction

    00:42 | Introducing Judi Nath

    03:56 | Sponsored by AAA

    03:12 | Digesting Food and Fads

    18:11 | Sponsored by HAPI

    19:00 | Stories for Lea...

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    Author Judi Nath stops by for a chat about her new book Sins Against Science: How Misinformation Affects Our Lives and Laws. We discuss the origins of the book, its central message, and how we can use the book's content to become better teachers of human anatomy & physiology.

    00:00 | Introduction

    00:42 | Introducing Judi Nath

    03:56 | Sponsored by AAA

    04:47 | Sins Against Science

    14:13 | Sponsored by HAPI

    15:01 | Stories Abo...

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    This episode continues a discussion of the many simple strategies available for making our anatomy and physiology course more inclusive. Here, we learn eight more easy ways to make our courses work better for all learners.

    0:00:00 | Introduction

    0:00:46 | More on the Inclusive Course

    0:07:51 | Sponsored by AAA

    0:08:38 | 8. Student Interest Survey

    0:14:35 | 9. Inclusive Office Hours

    0:24:22 | Sponsored by HAPI

    0:25:27 | 10. Valuing ...

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