On the added benefit of virtual anatomy for dissection-based skills
Sprache des Titels:
Technological approaches deploying three-dimensional visualization to integrate virtual anatomy are increasingly used to provide medical students with state-of-the-art teaching. It is unclear to date to which extent virtual anatomy may help replace the dissection course. Medical students of Johannes Kepler University attend both a dissection and a virtual anatomy course. This virtual anatomy course is based on Cinematic Rendering and radiological imaging and teaches anatomy and pathology. This study aims to substantiate student benefits achieved from this merged teaching approach. Following their dissection course, 120 second-year students took part in objective structured practical examinations (OSPE) conducted on human specimens prior to and following a course on Cinematic Rendering virtual anatomy. Likert-based and open-ended surveys were conducted to evaluate student perceptions of both courses and their utility. Virtual anatomy teaching was found to be unrelated to improvements in student's ability to identify anatomical structures in anatomical prosections, yielding only a 1.5% increase in the OSPE score. While the students rated the dissection course as being more important and impactful, the virtual anatomy course helped them display the learning content in a more comprehensible and clinically applicable way. It is likely that Cinematic Rendering-based virtual anatomy affects knowledge gain in domains other than the recognition of anatomical structures in anatomical prosections. These findings underline students' preference for the pedagogic strategy of the dissection course and for blending this classical approach with novel developments like Cinematic Rendering, thus preparing future doctors for their clinical work.