For the first time, first-year medical students at the University of British Columbia will be using a touch-screen table that displays detailed images of internal anatomy that can be rotated, enlarged, and sliced open. The anatomy visualization table will be used with traditional anatomical dissections to teach first-year medical students about human anatomy and the medical conditions they are likely to encounter as physicians. The device also will familiarize students with the radiological images that have become a core tool in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
The 500-pound, five-foot by three-foot table displays primarily CT scans of the entire body, including bones, muscles, organs, and connective tissue. Instructors can customize the table’s images for the lessons they want to convey, showing anonymized patients with diseases and injuries that are deemed particularly relevant to the curriculum and to the practice of medicine.
The table will be used in UBC’s gross anatomy lab in conjunction with traditional teaching through dissection. Groups of students will take turns with the device, moving from their dissection tables to the touch-screen device and back again.
Visit bcmj.org to watch a video about how the anatomy visualization table works.
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