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Anat Sci Educ. 2012 Sep-Oct;5(5):287-94. doi: 10.1002/ase.1277. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

The translucent cadaver: an evaluation of the use of full body digital X-ray images and drawings in surface anatomy education.

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Division of Anatomy and Histology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, South Africa.


It has been noted by staff at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University that medical students neglect the study of surface anatomy during dissection. This study reports on the novel use of Lodox(®) Statscan(®) images in anatomical education, particularly the teaching of surface anatomy. Full body digital X-ray images (Lodox Statscan) of each cadaver (n = 40) were provided to second year medical students. During dissection students were asked to visualize landmarks, organs, and structures on the digital X-ray and their cadaver, as well as palpate these landmarks and structures on themselves, their colleagues, and the cadaver. To stimulate student engagement with surface anatomy, dissection groups were required to draw both the normal and actual position of organs on a laminated image provided. The accuracy of the drawings was subsequently assessed and students were further assessed by means of practical identification tests. In addition, students were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire. A response rate of 79% was obtained for the student questionnaire. From the questionnaire it was gathered that students found the digital X-ray images beneficial for viewing most systems' organs, except for the pelvic organs. Although it appears that students still struggle with the study of surface anatomy, most students believed that the digital X-rays were beneficial to their studies and supported their continued use in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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