The use of real time ultrasound scanning as a teaching method of anatomy in an undergraduate sonography and medical imaging degree in an Australian university

A. Bowman, C. Lawson, S. McKillup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Real-time ultrasound scanning is increasing in popularity as a teaching tool for human anatomy because it is non-invasive, offers real-time 3-D anatomy and is cheaper than dissections. Aim: To assess real-time ultrasound scanning as a teaching method of human anatomy, and to determine what teaching methods medical imaging and sonography students consider effective for understanding human anatomy. Method: Surveys were distributed to two consecutive cohorts of first year medical imaging and medical sonography students at CQUniversity. Participation was voluntary. Comparisons among teaching methods were made using repeated measures ANOVA. Results: Real-time ultrasound scanning was the most preferred method of delivery for anatomy classes overall especially compared to computer programs, videos, 3-D radiological images and dissection. Specifically, students indicated that ultrasound scanning was the preferred method to encourage learning from experience (F7,231 = 2.942, p = 0.006), to develop team skills (F7,231 = 4.550, p < 0.006), to follow complex instructions (F7,231 = 4.656 p < 0.001) and to appreciate anatomical variation (F7,231 = 2.067, p = 0.048). Dissection was the least favoured teaching method. Conclusion: Real-time ultrasound scanning is a useful tool for teaching anatomy, and animal dissections are a poor substitute for the use of human cadavers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e75-e79
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy
  • Medical imaging
  • Medical sonography
  • Teaching methods
  • Undergraduate education

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