Sunday, 14 February 2010

Interactive Canine Radiographs

The teaching of anatomy at veterinary school usually takes place in the first 2 years of the course. This fits well with the general introduction to the basic sciences which is the first step in understanding the study of the normal animal before we move to teach about the abnormal. However, this often presents a problem where students loose sight of the relevance or significance of structure and function to their long term interest in becoming veterinary surgeons. The problem is compounded when student reach the clinical years of the course and have forgotten all their basic anatomy which should underpin everything they learn about surgery and medicine.

In an attempt to address this dichotomy, we have been exploring ways that we can use technology to bridge this divide. One development which has proved really effective has been the "interactive canine radiograph". This marries hundreds of annotated images taken from dissected specimens with high quality radiographs captured in the RVC hospitals. By clicking through interactive skeletal maps, students can find any bone or joint in the dog and then compare the key anatomical features with their radiographic equivalent.

One of the great features of this program is that it has all been developed by young vet graduates and students who know how they like to learn anatomy. On their own initiative, they have incorporated all the images into a sophisticated web of Powerpoint slides - over 40Mb is total size! These can be accessed through the web, virtual learning environment or on touch screen PCs in the anatomy museum. Perhaps most elegant of all, the Powerpoint format means that students can copy individual slides or images to their desktop whilst we can add an update the program at any time without major additional programming.

You can download a copy of the progam from our e-Media Showcase - it is a Creative Commons resource so free for educational use.

Access the e-Media Showcase