Donald J. Fletcher, Ph.D.

Donald Fletcher

Professor and Vice Chair
Master Educator 2006
Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award 2011
Brody School of Medicine Mission Champion Award (inaugural recipient) 2014

office: Brody 7N-47
phone: 252-744-2831

B.S., Georgia Institute of Technology
Ph.D., Emory University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory University School of Medicine; Research Associate, Medical College of Virginia


I have been involved with development of innovative methods for the teaching of human gross anatomy. From a traditional educational perspective, these have included the careful reduction of didactic lectures (without affecting student performance) and creation and use of an anatomy course pack (formalized handouts on gross anatomy and embryology topics) with original artwork.

The course pack has been highly successful and is the current pedagogical basis for both our medical gross anatomy course and our anatomy course for physical therapy and nurse anesthesia students. I have also been involved with development of online multimedia modules that are the basis of computer-based and Web-based gross anatomy courses (distance learning). These include regional reviews with audio narrations and interactive learning tools on somatic and autonomic nerve plexuses.

Selected Publications

Fletcher, D.J. and T.M. Louis. 1997. The Cervical Plexus: An Online Anatomy Learning Tool ©. ( learning tool example)

Fletcher, D.J. and T.M. Louis. 1997. The Lumbar Plexus: An Online Anatomy Learning Tool ©. ( learning tool example)

Fletcher, D.J. and T.M. Louis. 1998. The Sacral Plexus: An Online Anatomy Learning Tool ©. ( learning tool example)

Winn, F.J., D. Fletcher, J. Smith, R. Williams, and T.M. Louis. 1999. Internet teaching of PA practitioners in rural areas: Can complex material with high definition graphics be taught using P.C.s? Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 43rd Annual Meeting: 1161-1165.

Fletcher, D.J. and K.K. Mills. 2000. Using Blackboard CourseInfo to deliver human gross anatomy to freshman medical students. FASEB J. 14: A307.

Louis, T., F. Winn, D. Fletcher, and K. Mills. 2000. Comparison of a traditional course website (CW98) versus a campus-wide course management system: Blackboard (Bb99) CourseInfo. FASEB J. 14: A307.

Fletcher, D.J. and A. E. Branigan. 2000. The Brachial Plexus: An Online Anatomy Learning Tool ©. ( learning tool example)

Fletcher, D.J. and C.W. Lindsey. 2001. Performance of distance learner physician assistant students in a web-based gross anatomy course. FASEB J. 15: A720.

Fletcher, D.J. and A.E. Branigan. 2003. Abdominal Autonomic Nerve Plexuses: An Online Anatomy Learning Tool ©. ( learning tool example)

Branigan, A. and D. Fletcher. 2004. Informal laptop use in the medical classroom and student performance. Program 2004 UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference: 73.

Fletcher, D.J. 2009. Question and answer column: So You Wanna…Donate Your Body to Science. My Family Doctor 6: 8.

Fletcher D. and D. Musick. 2013. Performance in medical gross anatomy as a predictor of USMLE Step 1 scores. FASEB J. 27: 956.11.

Current Funding

"Cadaver Procurement for Army Personnel Medical Training"; Donald J. Fletcher, Principal Investigator; United States Army (Department of Defense); 10/1/2001 to 3/31/2018.

Former Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows

Name Title Location
Emily Askew, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Benjamin King, Ph.D. Manager, Medical Writing GSK, Research Triangle Park, NC
George Schuppin, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Physical Therapy, Wingate University, Wingate, NC
Virginia Stokes, M.S. Retired Instructor & Chair Natural Sciences Department, Nash Community College, Rocky Mount, NC