The Philipps-Universität Marburg was founded in 1527 and has since been a centre for both research and teaching. Today, it has nearly 23,000 students. The Faculty of Human Medicine is the largest faculty with 3,000 students. In 2012, Marburg became the first university in Germany to introduce the Sectra Table to its curriculum.
The table gives the students a comprehensive 3D view of the body and allows them to detect and understand lesions in an unprecedented way, visually.
Virtual dissections improve medical education
It was in early 2012 that representatives from Marburg first saw the table during a visit to the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV) at Linköping University Hospital in Sweden.
“When I first saw the table, I immediately realized that we could use it to improve our anatomical training,” says Professor Weihe, Director of the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology Anatomical Institute. “I was sure that introducing virtual dissection would give our students important theoretical and practical insight, making them much better prepared for their first real body autopsy.”
Humans are as different on the inside as on the outside, and the ability to demonstrate normal and abnormal anatomical variations by studying multiple cases is of great importance when developing an institution’s curriculum for anatomy and pathology education. Since October 2012, the students have used Sectra Table in parallel with lectures, seminars and preparation courses.
“The table will be developed further to become an increasingly integral part of the anatomy training of all students of medicine, dental medicine and human biology in the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the Faculty of Medicine” says Professor Kinscherf, Vice Director of the Anatomical Institute.
Marburg University is already seeing greater potential for the table and is discussing how it can help facilitate creation of a new infrastructure, with an open approach to using the table in combination with the plastic models of the body’s anatomy. They also see ways in which it could improve examinations.
“Using Sectra’s table at our anatomy examinations could really enable us to ensure that candidates have truly understood the human anatomy,” says Professor Weihe.
Increased efficiency and safety in healthcare
The table’s large, multi-touch medical display, allows students to zoom in, rotate or cut into the visualized body without using a scalpel or destroying the subject. The table allows students to practice on the same image again and again, which is both economical and allows for greater understanding.
“The table gives the students a comprehensive 3D view of the body and allows them to detect and understand lesions in an unprecedented way, visually,” explains Professor Kinscherf.
The opportunity to interact with virtual bodies provides better understanding of the body’s anatomy and functions, which in turn will contribute to better educated medical personnel and thus higher efficiency and safety in healthcare in the long-term.