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Navigating and interpreting cross-sectional medical image sets are important skills used by most physicians to apply anatomical knowledge to patient care. However, few medical schools provide formal instruction in understanding cross-sectional anatomy. For these reasons, a curriculum was developed in which the medical school gross anatomy cadavers were CT scanned prior to dissection, and CT images of specific cadavers were correlated both to labelled atlas images and to direct structural observations of those same cadavers during dissection. The students were taught to navigate CT data sets in axial, coronal, and sagittal planes, to mentally synthesize three-dimensional understandings of individual cadaveric structures, and to correlate these understandings to the same structures observed directly during dissection. On average, the students reported a significantly higher interest in interpreting radiologic images and comfort level interacting with CT images after the course. Additionally, several opportunities to improve the educational initiative were discovered.
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VCU Medical Education Symposium