Medicine is a high-stakes field, and the chance of making an irreversible mistake can lead to paralysis among medical students. When working with cadavers, for instance, one wrong cut can ruin the dissection. Teachers and practitioners at Rutgers University recently installed a digital cadaver to promote exploratory, stress-free learning. Students can search for body parts, conduct dissections, and take risks. If something goes wrong, the undo button is always available.

Rutgers educators hope this new tool will promote deep learning by engaging students’ visual and tactile senses. How important do you think it is to engage different learning styles in medical training? Do you think this virtual cadaver can improve medical education? Contribute to the ongoing discussion on Vialogues.

Excerpts from the discussion:

@00:52 Sara Hardman: I can see this tool being most useful for student review and studying, as it seems like an extremely adaptable and detailed view of the human body. While it could be good for memorization of body parts and how they connect, it won't give students an actual feel of the body, which will still be necessary for medical students.

@00:56 Rob Crawford: This table, basically a huge iPad, certainly has many logistical advantages over working with an actual cadaver, although I agree that such work can't truly be replaced by this. It would be even better if it used 3D AR technology, which would make it closer to working with a real body.