In this report, we review the range of teaching resources and strategies used in anatomy education with the aim of coming up with suggestions about the best teaching practices in this area. Although dissection of cadavers has remained the gold standard for learning anatomical knowledge for hundreds of years, it is considered outdated, costly, time-consuming and a potentially hazardous approach. To date, no single teaching tool has been found to achieve all curriculum requirements. The best way to teach modern anatomy is by combining multiple pedagogical resources (plastination, CBL, living anatomy, medical imaging) to complement one another, students appear to profit most when diverse and system-based modalities are integrated.
The primary objective of this study was to analyze existing research in order to gather the majority opinion from educators, students, and experts as to whether digital technologies enhance anatomical education in health-related fields. The majority opinion is that digital technologies do offer considerable advantages in anatomical education. The rapid development of digital technologies has resulted in a great impact on anatomical education offering a unique and alternative learning method, bypassing the limitations of dissection.
Twenty-five first-year medical students were asked to localize three anatomical structures—gall bladder, celiac trunk, and superior mesenteric artery—in either 2D or 3D environments. Accuracy and time were taken as the objective measures for mental workload. Based on data collected for accuracy, task completion time, and NASA-TLX results, participants performed better when localizing anatomical structure and had lower cumulative mental workload when using the 3D environment compared with the 2D environment.
Several digital tools are now available in the market to help students study and understand human anatomy. These supplemental resources are useful from both instructional and learning perspective. An attempt has been made to highlight the usefulness of one such digital tool in establishing a connection between what a student sees on the screen with the real-world scenario. This paper discusses the concept and advantages of using a sophisticated tool, BodyViz, which allows stereoscopic visualization of 3D images of MRI/CT scans, in assessing feasibility of embolization of a tumor in a clinical situation.
Anatomy teaching is undergoing major changes due to time constraints, scarcity of cadavers, rapid advances in information technology, and changes in the demands of the medical profession. In this changing scenario of medical education, a continuous debate is on among educators regarding the usefulness and effectiveness of the conventional and newer teaching-learning methodologies. The meta-analysis of the literature available recommends that the challenge should not be to determine superiority of one methodology over another, but to capitalize on the learning benefits offered by the different methods. Learners should be provided the opportunity to use multiple resources, thus favoring flexibility in the acquisition of knowledge. In other words, the student's ability to apply the acquired knowledge in a variety of different contexts. The teaching material and teaching style must reflect the change in the real world.
Over the past three decades, diffusion of innovations in computer technology transformed the practices of anatomical education and research. Implementation of computer-based learning methods interacted with waves of ongoing curricular change, and such technologies have been deemed crucial for continuing medical education reforms, providing new challenges and opportunities for anatomical sciences educators. It may be seen that improvements in VR and 3D technologies will lead to their greater, more selective adjunctive use in preclinical and clinical education settings, particularly in environments that have limited access to cadaver or plastinated specimens.
This study presents the process of implementing and evaluating an interactive, photorealistic, and stereoscopic tool for the study and teaching of neuroanatomy. The method presented a significant gain of knowledge and pedagogic yield when compared with the traditional techniques. Learning and teaching medicine is a difficult task, partially due to the complexity of the subject and limitations of traditional pedagogic methods (lectures, textbooks, laboratory, and anatomical dissections).
At BodyViz, we understand that integrating 3D anatomy resources into your anatomy curriculum may sometimes seem a bit overwhelming. Our team is here each step along the way to help you teach anatomy more effectively and engage your classroom with innovative resources.
To learn more about BodyViz and to see if our solutions are good fit for you and your students, schedule a demo with our Solution Consultants below.
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