The Medical Educators Resource Guide

John R. Cotter, Ph.D.

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The five reviews in this issue of the Guide were written by medical and osteopathic students and a graduate student in anatomy. All of the reviews deal with three of the four major sub-disciplines of anatomy: histology, neuroanatomy, and gross anatomy. This may not be a coincidence. Anatomy is one of the cornerstones of medical education and, being as dependent as it is on the illustrative depiction of the body, is perfectly suited to being communicated over the web.

There is a recurrent theme in several of the reviews. In Jeff Henson’s review of The JayDoc HistoWeb, he says “the quality of the images makes studying histology at home much easier.? For Kahtonna Allen, the Net Anatomy offers “a unique way to work autonomously while learning and experiencing anatomy.? The Neuroscience Resource Page according to Ibrahim Koury, “stands out for the ease with which material is available.? And according to Justin Morgan, the Hyperbrain Pathway Quizzes in Neuroanatomy allows students to “learn at their own pace and independent from the classroom.? Since students do not immediately assimilate what they have been taught in the classroom or experience in the laboratory, the student reviewers appear to value and look to websites for ways to learn once they have left the classroom and do not have the guidance of their instructors.

If you are aware of a site that has the potential for being used by students of the basic and clinical medical sciences, I encourage you to contribute to the Guide. Send all submissions to Please include the URL and a short critique summarizing the essence and utility of the site. All submissions will be reviewed for relevance, content and length. Revisions, if needed, will be made in consultation with the author.

Hyperbrain Pathway Quizzes in Neuroanatomy. dex.html
Hyperbrain Pathway Quizzes in Neuroanatomy is a self-instructional learning tool to help medical students understand the most important neural pathways tested in introductory medical neuroscience courses. Dr. Suzanne Stensaas from the University of Utah developed the Hyperbrain Pathway Quizzes. To help reinforce these often confusing neuronal tracts, repetition is the key. The illustrations used in the animations are adapted from the 4th edition of Neuroanatomy: An Atlas of Structures, Sections, and Systems by Duane Haines, Ph.D. Eighteen different quizzes are found in the module. A clue prompts the user to choose the correct neuroanatomical term for the tract or landmark indicated. If the choice is incorrect, a funny and animated voice will sound indicating the need to choose a different answer. When the student chooses the correct answer, a clue is given for the next step in the tract. Students can learn these pathways at their own pace and independent from the classroom. Many students attempt to learn neuroanatomy through repeated rehashing through the notes. The Hyperbrain Pathway Quizzes allow the medical student to become an active learner away from the lecture notes. (Reviewed by Justin M. Morgan, B.S., University of Louisville School of Medicine.)

Medical Gross Anatomy Learning Resources. The University of Michigan Medical School.
The main page of this website contains links to applications designed to help students better understand anatomical concepts and structures. The website is utilized by the medical gross anatomy course taught at The University of Michigan School of Medicine. Thus, some of the links are course personnel specific and password protected. However, most are unrestricted, allowing users to utilize many interesting links; and students pursuing an education in gross anatomy will find these links to be helpful in developing a useful knowledge base. The “Atlas Images” link contains gross anatomical and radiographic images of the brain and body regions. Also included in this website are quick time videos of a variety of organs and body regions under the link “Dissection Videos?, which illustrate the proper step by step dissection technique of these structures. These videos also highlight many important observations that can be made during the dissection of a cadaver. There are interactive quick time images of gross specimens under the “QuickTime VR Movies” link, which contain models and 3D images of structures labeled for common landmarks. These models can be rotated both vertically and horizontally so that students can appreciate the three dimensional aspects of each structure. The “Surgical Videos” link provides students with the ability to observe these structures in a pre-mortem setting, as well as an appreciation of their involvement in a variety of surgical procedures. Quizzes are also available under the “Practice Questions” link, along with questions accompanying a few basic case studies (?Clinical Cases?) which are designed to allow students to apply basic knowledge to clinical situations. Detailed tables (?Anatomy Tables?) of selected anatomical structures are also included for study. This website contains many topics that may interest a wide variety of people who are interested in furthering their knowledge of gross anatomy. Overall, this site should prove to be a valuable resource for students, educators and researchers. (Reviewed by Laurie Davis, B.S., University of Kentucky.)

Net Anatomy. Scholar Educational Systems, Inc.
The aim of Net Anatomy is to teach human anatomy to students of the health professions. It serves as a place to explore, review, and prepare for clinical rotations and the USMLEs (United States Medical Licensing Examinations) and delivers current and reliable information. The information is an integration of several renowned works including, Gray’s Anatomy for Students (1985), Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy (1997), Moore’s Clinically Oriented Anatomy (1999). Net is comprised of several sections including radiography (plain film and magnetic resonance imaging), computerized topography, cross-sectional anatomy, and gross anatomy. These provide complete descriptions of body regions alongside exceptional illustrations. Each section is preceded by educational objectives and how to approach a particular modality. Notably are the cadaver prosections that parallel a student’s laboratory experience. User administered tests within each section help assess progress and pinpoint problem areas. Also included are specific clinical correlates that are likely to be encountered in a medical setting. Topics in first year medical gross anatomy are skillfully complemented by this site. The information is unquestionably useful for all levels of medical education. Particularly helpful is an independent and excellent study guide, “Just the Facts?, that includes complete reviews on each body system. Net is a unique way for students to work autonomously while learning and experiencing anatomy. (Reviewed by Kahtonna C. Allen, M.S., Georgia Campus ? Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.)

Neuroscience Resource Page. University of Wisconsin Medical School.
As a medical student, I am perpetually searching for resources that complement my studies and allow me to maximize the time I spend reading texts and taking in lectures. In seeking out resources for a course in neuroanatomy, I came across the Neuroscience Resource Page. The site contains an expansive bank of resources that can enhance a student’s understanding of neuroanatomy. First, informative diagrams and anatomical images of the brain and spinal cord allow a student to pinpoint and label neuroanatomical areas. In addition, videos demonstrate the physical manifestations of some of the more common neurological diseases. Furthermore, the site provides its readers with an online course book that thoroughly explains major concepts in neuroanatomy. Finally, a databank of questions covering several neuroanatomical subjects is particularly useful. The questions allow students to test their knowledge of the course material. The site also offers clinical questions which resemble those of the National Board examinations. Ultimately, the site provides students with many opportunities to supplement their studies and, most importantly, evaluate the extent of their knowledge. With so many options available to students looking for supplemental resources on the Web, this site stands out for the ease with which material is available and as a testing tool. (Reviewed by Ibrahim Koury, M.S., University of Louisville School of Medicine.)

The JayDoc HistoWeb. The University of Kansas. b/
This Website is designed for first year medical students at the University of Kansas. The site is very well organized and focuses on histology. The links are very easy to follow and flow in a logical sequence. The first set of links leads the student through the study of the basic tissue types. The other links then tie the basic tissues to the organ systems. Each link has several well illustrated images and more than one example of a given structure. The captions which can be used for a quick review of the material describe what is seen in each digital image. The detail illustrated by the digital images is comparable to viewing specimens through a light microscope. The images are not cluttered with labels making it much easier to see structures. The ability to expand an image allows a student to pick out details that might be missed in a smaller image. Overall the site is well organized and user friendly. The quality of the images makes studying histology at home much easier. (Reviewed by: Jeff Henson, M.S., University of Louisville School of Medicine.)