Medical students are leaving university with a “worrying” lack of anatomical knowledge, top surgeons have warned, with many never having dissected a body and some qualifying as doctors without even seeing a cadaver.

Experienced surgeons also said it was “alarming” that medical schools now have no cadaver-based teaching whatsoever in their core curriculums. There are also concerns that a lack of confidence in anatomy is putting medical graduates off applying for postgraduate surgical training. Some warn that the problem could soon result in a national shortage of surgeons.

Whereas anatomy was once rightly regarded as essential and of crucial importance to the study of medicine, the time allocated to its study in the present day is substantially and worryingly less than in the past. Today we are seeing an increasing number of qualified doctors in their early surgical training who do not feel confident in their clinical abilities, and they often attribute this to an inadequate understanding of anatomy.

Concerns at the top of the surgical profession over the quality and scope of anatomy teaching are not new. The amount of time students spend on the subject has been gradually reduced, and many medical schools now depend on demonstrations with pre-dissected cadavers, rather than giving students hands-on experience.

Therefore, mivielab (MaGICX) has been working with Virtual Reality (VR) Human Anatomy Training. The employment of VR based visualization and training environments in the delivery of anatomy teaching transfers the learning experience from one that involves memorising the structures without a true understanding of the three-Dimensional (3D) relations, to a process that involves a thorough understanding of the structure based on visualisation rather than memorising, which makes the learning process more efficient and enjoyable, and less time consuming. This project is to develop a VR and 3D visualisation system for anatomy training.

Thank you for reading.

Head of mivielab

Human Anatomy VR Training Developers :