Introducing a Virtual Reality Experience in Anatomic Pathology Education

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Abstract

Objectives: A proper examination of surgical specimens is fundamental in anatomic pathology (AP) education. However, the resources available to residents may not always be suitable for efficient skill acquisition. We propose a method to enhance AP education by introducing high-definition videos featuring methods for appropriate specimen handling, viewable on two-dimensional (2D) and stereoscopic three-dimensional (3D) platforms.

Methods: A stereo camera system recorded the gross processing of commonly encountered specimens. Three edited videos, with instructional audio voiceovers, were experienced by nine junior residents in a crossover study to assess the effects of the exposure (2D vs 3D movie views) on self-reported physiologic symptoms. A questionnaire was used to analyze viewer acceptance.

Results: All surveyed residents found the videos beneficial in preparation to examine a new specimen type. Viewer data suggest an improvement in specimen handling confidence and knowledge and enthusiasm toward 3D technology. None of the participants encountered significant motion sickness.

Conclusions: Our novel method provides the foundation to create a robust teaching library. AP is inherently a visual discipline, and by building on the strengths of traditional teaching methods, our dynamic approach allows viewers to appreciate the procedural actions involved in specimen processing.

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