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Clin Anat. 2020 Jan;33(1):124-127. doi: 10.1002/ca.23485. Epub 2019 Oct 12.

The importance of teaching clinical anatomy in surgical skills education: Spare the patient, use a sim!

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, Florida.
Department of Education, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, Florida.
Department of Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic Health Systems, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


Anatomical knowledge is a key tenet in graduate medical and surgical education. Classically, these principles are taught in the operating room during live surgical experience. This puts both the learner and the patient at a disadvantage due to environment, time, and safety constraints. Educational adjuncts such as cadaveric courses and surgical skills didactics have been shown to improve resident confidence and proficiency in both anatomical knowledge and surgical techniques. However, the cost-effectiveness of these courses is a limiting factor and in many cases prevents implementation within institutional training programs. Anatomical simulation in the form of "desktop" three-dimensional (3D) printing provides a cost-effective adjunct while maintaining educational value. This article describes the anatomical and patient-centered approach that led to the establishment of our institution's 3D printing laboratory for anatomical and procedural education. Clin. Anat. 32:124-127, 2019.


3D printing; anatomical learning; anatomy; medical education; surgical training; technology in medicine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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