Medical Student Perception of a Virtual Reality Training Module for Anatomy Education

Sneha Kolla, Maha Elgawly, John P. Gaughan, Evan Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Human anatomy education has been traditionally taught using methods such as lecture and cadaveric dissection. Modern technologies that enhance 3-dimensional (3D) visualization, such as virtual reality (VR), are currently being implemented as adjuncts. VR technology provides a level of 3D visualization and interactivity that allows users to explore structures in ways that are often unattainable by direct cadaveric dissection. For example, users can experience simulations in which they can teleport themselves to structures inside of a virtual human body, resize and observe objects from any visual perspective, and draw in a 3D space to test their understanding. In the following study, the utility of VR in anatomy education was assessed and compared with traditional teaching methods including lecture and cadaveric dissection. A VR platform was created in which first-year medical students identified anatomical structures on a virtual cadaveric specimen and then drew these structures on a virtual skeleton using a 3D drawing tool. After completing these tasks, subjects answered survey questions that assessed the usefulness of the virtual platform for learning the names and locations of anatomical structures and understanding 3D anatomical relationships. The survey was also used to evaluate the perceived educational value of VR relative to lectures and cadaveric dissection. The results of our study showed strong subject support for VR technology, suggesting VR is a helpful tool for learning human anatomy and a useful adjunct to lecture and cadaveric dissection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1210
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Science Educator
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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