Teaching basic cardiac anatomy and physiology to first year medical students by echocardiography

B Varadharaju, Hemakumar -, Balachandran -


Introduction: Human anatomy is being taught now by cadaveric dissection. In echocardiorpahy, which is dynamic and realtime cardiac study, students can be taught gross cardiac anatomy as well as basic cardiac physiology.
Aim: To compare the conventional teaching method of cardiac anatomy and physiology in a cadaver to the innovative teaching method in live beating heart by echocardiography and to ascertain the efficacy of two methods from students point of view.
Methodology: Preclinical medical students from our medical college were chosen for this study. First they were taught cardiac anatomy and physiology by conventional didactic methods. Later they were taught the same in a live beating heart by echocardiography. By means of questionnaire they were asked to compare the two methods of learning cardiac anatomy and physiology.
Results: It was observed that the study of cardiac anatomy and physiology by live, real-time, dynamic echocardiographic study was better appreciated and understood by majority of students (89.6%).
Conclusion: In order to make budding doctors better and efficient physician, radiology should be incorporated at all semesters of MBBS course-like anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical medicine etc. The feedback received from the students will be helpful in further refinement of the course for future implementation.

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