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Proceedings Paper

Teaching microsurgery to undergraduate medical students by means of high-definition stereo video microscopy: the Aachen skills lab experience
Author(s): Justus Ilgner; Jonas Jae-Hyun Park; Martin Westhofen
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Paper Abstract

Introduction: The master plan for innovative medical education established at RWTH Aachen Medical Faculty helped to set up an inter-disciplinary, interactive teaching environment for undergraduate medical students during their clinical course. This study presents our first experience with teaching microsurgery to medical students by means of highdefinition stereo video monitoring. Material and methods: A plastic model created for ear inspection with a handheld otoscope was modified with an exchangeable membrane resembling an eardrum plus a model of the human cochlea. We attached a 1280×1024 HD stereo camera to an operating microscope, whose images were processed online by a PC workstation. The live image was displayed by two LCD projectors @ 1280×720 pixels on a 1,25m rear-projection screen by polarized filters. Each medical student was asked to perform standard otosurgical procedures (paracentesis and insertion of grommets; insertion of a cochlear implant electrode) being guided by the HD stereoscopic video image. Results: Students quickly adopted this method of training, as all attendants shared the same high-definition stereoscopic image. The learning process of coordinating hand movement with visual feedback was regarded being challenging as well as instructive by all students. Watching the same image facilitated valuable feedback from the audience for each student performing his tasks. All students noted that this course made them feel more confident in their manual skills and that they would consider a career in a microsurgical specialty. Conclusion: High definition stereoscopy provides an easy access to microsurgical techniques for undergraduate medical students. This access not only bears the potential to compress the learning curve for junior doctors during their clinical training but also helps to attract medical students to a career in a microsurgical specialty.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 February 2008
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 6803, Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XIX, 680313 (29 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.763867
Show Author Affiliations
Justus Ilgner, RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany)
Jonas Jae-Hyun Park, RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany)
Martin Westhofen, RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6803:
Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XIX
Andrew J. Woods; Nicolas S. Holliman; John O. Merritt, Editor(s)

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