Medical Science Educator Volume 17: No. 1

Creating a Functional and Adaptable Web-based Atlas for Medical Students: Implementation of Database Technology

Benjamin P. Rosenbaum1, Sanjay G. Patel1, H. Wayne Lambert, Ph.D.2, 3


At Vanderbilt University, an interactive, Web-based histology atlas was transformed into a dynamic database-driven tool through utilization of a MySQL® database and the PHP scripting language. The advantages of this transformation were substantial. For the faculty, data associated with the histological images were manipulated quickly and easily to affect the entire website without the involvement of a technology expert. Features such as practice exams, keyword searches, slide lists, and site usage analysis took minutes to develop after the conversion to a database-driven atlas. For the medical students, the database-driven interactive atlas could quickly adapt to meet their educational needs. The implementation of a database-driven histology atlas was well-received by students and faculty due to the ease of data entry, the increased functionality, and the unlimited potential to adapt to meet the pedagogical demands of students.

Medical Student Attitudes Towards and Perception of the Basic Sciences in a Medical College in Western Nepal

P. Ravi Shankar, M.D., Arun K. Dubey, M.D., P. Subish, M.Pharm., Dinesh K. Upadhyay, M.Pharm.


The basic sciences in Nepal are taught during the first four semesters of the undergraduate medical course. The objectives of this study were to obtain information on the attitudes towards and perception of the basic sciences among second and fourth semester students and note the association, if any, of the attitude with the respondent personal characteristics. The study was carried out among second and fourth semester medical students at the Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal during March 2005. The student attitudes towards the basic sciences were assessed by noting their degree of agreement with a set of nine statements using a modified Likert-type scale. The median scores for the different statements were compared among the various subgroups of respondents. Sixty-two of the 75 second semester (82.7%) and 73 of the 75 fourth semester (97.3%) students successfully completed the questionnaire. Female students were more in agreement with the statement ‘Faculty members excite students’ curiosity through the teaching of the basic sciences’ compared to male students (p=0.034). The female students had a more positive opinion regarding the ‘perceived effectiveness of medical education’ compared to males (p=0.003). Significant differences in the median scores of some statements were seen between the second and fourth semester students. Greater emphasis should be placed on the psychological aspects of medical treatment and on teaching about applying basic sciences to clinical medicine. Similar studies in other medical schools would add to this data. The students overall had a positive opinion towards the basic sciences.

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