Virtually Reconstructing Clinical Cases at UGA College of Vet Med

April 20, 2021

Dr. MohanKumar, a Professor of Anatomy at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, shares how he uses the BodyViz 3D Anatomy Learning Platform to help his students develop dissection skills using actual clinical cases. Derived from the MRI/CT scans of the clinical cases provided by the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital, BodyViz generates vivid, 3D volumes that Dr. MohanKumar and his students use to visualize, study, and virtually dissect in their Virtual Skills Lab

Written by Dr. MohanKumar:

Anatomy is one of the important basic subjects that students have to learn when entering into any health-related program. Specifically, in veterinary medicine, students need to learn the anatomy of several species of domestic animals.  Students in general, get lost in learning the ‘sea of details’ rather than focusing on important aspects of anatomy that will help them in their clinical years. This also results in memorization of details, which is very difficult to retain beyond one or two semesters. This poses a major problem for students when they reach their years 3 and 4 for clinical training. While there are no empirical data available, anecdotal evidence from clinicians suggests that students retain only 10-20% of the anatomy knowledge they acquired. This poor retention is probably attributed to memorization-based learning in the year-1 anatomy courses.  Anatomy is critical and important for the development of good clinical skills, however, can be learned by methods other than dissection laboratory memorization.  By applying practical, relevant clinical situations in which various aspects of anatomy are used routinely in teaching methods, we can bring about a positive learning experience. This positive learning experience, which improves the understanding of the subject, then promotes better application of the learned material later on in clinical situations. 

One of the strategies that we have used here at UGA CVM is using virtual dissection using BodyViz’s program to develop the skills along with laboratory dissection. What we were able to do was to acquire CT/MRI images of specific clinical cases from our clinic that correlate with the week’s dissection in the laboratory. Using BodyViz, we reconstructed these animals virtually. We provide students clear instructions in terms of how to go about doing virtual dissection. We also provide a power point that includes details of the cases. Then, we require the students to perform the dissection as well as answer specific questions related to the case as well as the anatomical aspects they have learned. The students work together in groups of three. This allows the students to learn to work with each other.  The students perform planar dissection and understand the 3-D and cross-sectional relationship between various organs in the body. This really helps them to relate, appreciate and apply the anatomy they have learned to clinical cases. The response we have received from students has been fantastic. They have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This is one of the main ways we were able to manage social distancing and other COVID-related issues while providing students quality education in anatomy. 

P.S MohanKumar, BVSc, PhD
Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor
Department of Veterinary Biosciences & Diagnostic Imaging
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Georgia

Want to use BodyViz in your courses? Schedule an online demonstration with our team of Solution Consultants for a more in-depth view of the BodyViz 3D Anatomy Learning Platform. 

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