Introduction of ultrasound-based living anatomy into the medical curriculum: a survey on medical students’ perceptions

Pelagia Kefala-Karli, Leandros Sassis, Marina Sassi, Constantinos Zervides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Traditional anatomy teaching methods are based on the models and cadaveric dissections, providing fixed views of the anatomical structures. However, in the last few years, the emerging concept of ultrasound-based teaching in anatomy has started to gain ground among medical curricula. This study aims to evaluate the integration of ultrasound as an adjunct tool to traditional anatomy teaching methods and explore students’ perceptions of whether ultrasound-based teaching enhances their interest and knowledge of anatomy. A cross-sectional study was carried out among the students of the 6-year undergraduate entry (MD) and 4-year graduate entry (MBBS) program of the University of Nicosia. A questionnaire was distributed to them after the delivery of several twenty minutes ultrasound sessions by an expert in the field during anatomy practicals. The data were analyzed utilizing SPSS software, and the statistical significance was determined as p value < 0.05. Results: 107 MD and 42 MBBS students completed the questionnaire. Both groups agreed that their ultrasound-based learning experience was good or excellent (79.4% MD students; 92.9% MBBS students), that it enhanced their knowledge of anatomy (68.2% MD students; 90.5% MBBS students) and boosted their confidence regarding their examination skills practice (69.2% MD students; 85.7% MBBS students). Although most students desired more time allocated to the ultrasound station (72% MD students; 85.7% MBBS students), they believed that ultrasound-based teaching is a necessary adjunct to the traditional teaching methods of anatomy (89.7% MD students; 92.9% MBBS students). Conclusions: Overall, MBBS students were more confident about the benefits of ultrasound-based teaching. Most of the students agreed that cross-sectional sessions of traditional teaching and ultrasound-based teaching strengthened their knowledge of anatomy and enhanced their confidence concerning their clinical examination skills. Medical schools should embrace the advantages that ultrasound-based teaching offers in order future doctors to be qualified to utilize ultrasound for procedural and diagnostical purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalUltrasound Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Living anatomy
  • Medical education
  • Medical students
  • Ultrasound teaching


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