Virtual Pelvic Anatomy Simulator: A Pilot Study of Usability and Perceived Effectiveness

J. Peyton Hassinger, Eric J. Dozois, Stefan D. Holubar, Jon C. Camp, David R. Farley, Jeff L. Fidler, Wojciech Pawlina, Richard A. Robb, David W. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Simulators for surgical education are in high demand due to new curriculum requirements for surgical residency accreditation. Our aim was to assess the usability and perceived effectiveness of a three-dimensional (3-D) pelvic anatomy teaching module derived from human magnetic resonance and computerized tomography images. Methods: A convenience sample of medical students and surgery residents was surveyed. Results are frequency (proportion) of respondents who agreed or strongly agreed with each statement. Results: Ten participants (5 medical students, 5 surgical residents) completed the survey. At baseline, a minority (30%) self-reported a very good knowledge of pelvic anatomy; none reported excellent knowledge of pelvic anatomy. All participants agreed that the module teaches clinically relevant anatomy; 90% preferred this type of education to traditional methods. Fifty percent of participants felt the module needed a higher level of anatomic detail. Participants specifically requested inclusion of Denonvillier's and Waldeyer's fascia, and the component muscles of the pelvic floor. Conclusions: These pilot results suggest that our 3-D pelvic anatomy teaching module is easy to use and would enhance student learning of anatomy over traditional methods in an effective manner. Further study is warranted to assess the incremental impact of this and standard educational interventions for teaching surgical anatomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


  • pelvis
  • simulation
  • surgery
  • virtual anatomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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