Faculty members at Life University worked to evaluate lecture and laboratory scores of first-year chiropractic anatomy students. The goal was to establish whether students learning on the Anatomage Table would meet similar assessment objectives as students learning on anatomical models or cadavers.

The Anatomage Table is the most technologically advanced 3D anatomy visualization and virtual dissection tool for anatomy and physiology education and is being adopted by many of the world’s leading medical schools and institutions. It has been featured in the TEDTalks Conference, PBS, Fuji TV and numerous other journals for its innovative approach to digital anatomy presentation. The operating table form factor combined with Anatomage’s renowned radiology software and clinical content separates the Anatomage Table from any other imaging system on the market. Anatomage Table 8 is the current software version on the Table.

The research was conducted using three separate cohorts for three consecutive academic years – only one group accessing to virtual dissection. Cohort 1 included students that practiced cadaver dissection, observed prosections and utilized anatomical models and atlases. Cohort 2 mainly worked with anatomical models and atlases. Cohort 3 students studied models and had two hours of laboratory time per week dedicated to working with the Table. During lab exams, students were tested with either cadavers, models or on the Table based on their cohort.

Students that tested on the Table for lab exams scored an average final score of 85.1%, higher than those who were tested solely on models (81.4%) and cadavers (76.1%). The final scores averaged at 85.3%, 10.7 percentage points higher than students tested on cadavers (74.6%). On average, they tested 3.7 percentage points above those tested on models and nine points above those tested on cadavers. For the lecture portion of the course, no significant differences were seen in lecture exam scores between the cohorts.

Faculty members at Life University plan to continue with a multifaceted approach to gross anatomy instruction. Chiropractic students enjoy active, engaged learning, and they easily adapted to the Table’s functionality. Students learning and testing on the Table met and exceeded the same assessment objectives as those learning with models and cadavers.