Software tools for interactive instruction in radiologic anatomy. Academic radiology Alvarez, A., Gold, G. E., Tobin, B., Desser, T. S. 2006; 13 (4): 512-517


To promote active learning in an introductory Radiologic Anatomy course through the use of computer-based exercises.DICOM datasets from our hospital PACS system were transferred to a networked cluster of desktop computers in a medical school classroom. Medical students in the Radiologic Anatomy course were divided into four small groups and assigned to work on a clinical case for 45 minutes. The groups used iPACS viewer software, a free DICOM viewer, to view images and annotate anatomic structures. The classroom instructor monitored and displayed each group's work sequentially on the master screen by running SynchronEyes, a software tool for controlling PC desktops remotely.Students were able to execute the assigned tasks using the iPACS software with minimal oversight or instruction. Course instructors displayed each group's work on the main display screen of the classroom as the students presented the rationale for their decisions. The interactive component of the course received high ratings from the students and overall course ratings were higher than in prior years when the course was given solely in lecture format.DICOM viewing software is an excellent tool for enabling students to learn radiologic anatomy from real-life clinical datasets. Interactive exercises performed in groups can be powerful tools for stimulating students to learn radiologic anatomy.

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