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Computer-assisted learning in anatomy at the International Medical School in Debrecen, Hungary: A preliminary report

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Abstract

The University of Debrecen's Faculty of Medicine has an international, multilingual student population with anatomy courses taught in English to all but Hungarian students. An elective computer-assisted gross anatomy course, the Computer Human Anatomy (CHA), has been taught in English at the Anatomy Department since 2008. This course focuses on an introduction to anatomical digital images along with clinical cases. This low-budget course has a large visual component using images from magnetic resonance imaging and computer axial tomogram scans, ultrasound clinical studies, and readily available anatomy software that presents topics which run in parallel to the university's core anatomy curriculum. From the combined computer images and CHA lecture information, students are asked to solve computer-based clinical anatomy problems in the CHA computer laboratory. A statistical comparison was undertaken of core anatomy oral examination performances of English program first-year medical students who took the elective CHA course and those who did not in the three academic years 2007–2008, 2008–2009, and 2009–2010. The results of this study indicate that the CHA-enrolled students improved their performance on required anatomy core curriculum oral examinations (P < 0.001), suggesting that computer-assisted learning may play an active role in anatomy curriculum improvement. These preliminary results have prompted ongoing evaluation of what specific aspects of CHA are valuable and which students benefit from computer-assisted learning in a multilingual and diverse cultural environment. Anat Sci Educ. © 2012 American Association of Anatomists.

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