Developing a digital anatomy lab for rural medical students


  • Lisa Hampshire University of Sydney
  • William Havellas
  • Claudio Corvalan-Diaz
  • Annemiek Beverdam
  • Jyothilakshmi Thittamranahalli Kariyappa
  • Melissa Whittaker



digital, anatomy, medicine, pedagogy, rural, Doctor, people, partnerships, VR


This paper follows the genesis and development of a digital anatomy lab for geographically isolated students in a postgraduate Doctor of Medicine programme in rural New South Wales and represents a work in progress. Students studying their degree at the rural clinical school do so without an in-situ cadaver-centred anatomy laboratory.  This represents a pivotal shift away from the fundamental learning pedagogies implicit in academic Medicine, and therefore a challenge for situating the digital anatomy lab; its contents and explicit pedagogical needs, inside an already saturated curriculum.  The Digital Anatomy space under development represents an intersection of scholarship on whether nascent digital tools (VR/AR) can develop fast enough to provide haptic and spatial feedback, how such digital spaces sit pedagogically amidst the accepted didactic teaching frameworks of Medicine, and whether creating virtual spaces improves student learning of Anatomy.  This work-in-progress reflects the conference themes of people, partnerships and pedagogies.