A survey of medical students on the impact of a new digital imaging library in the dissection room



Radiology has a recognised role in undergraduate anatomy education. The recent digitalisation of radiology has created new learning opportunities involving techniques such as image labelling, 3D reconstruction, and multiplanar reformatting. An opportunity was identified at the University of Nottingham to create a digital library of normal radiology images as a learner-driven adjunct in anatomy dissection sessions. We describe the process of creating a de novo digital library by sourcing images for presentation at computer workstations. Students' attitudes towards this new resource were assessed using a questionnaire which used a 5 point Likert scale and also offered free text responses. One hundred and forty-one out of 260 students (54%) completed the questionnaire. The most notable findings were: a positive response to the relevance of imaging to the session topics (median score 4), strong agreement that images should be available on the university website (median score 5), and disagreement that enough workstations were available (median score 2). About 24% of respondents suggested independently that images needed more labeling to help with orientation and identification. This first phase of supplying a comprehensive imaging library can be regarded as a success. Increasing availability and incorporating dynamic labeling are well recognized as important design concepts for electronic learning resources and these will be improved in the second phase of delivery as a direct result of studentfeedback. Hopefully other centers can benefit from this experience and will consider such a venture to be worthwhile. Clin. Anat. 22:761–769, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.