ABSTRACT: Can “YouTube” help students in learning surface anatomy?
In a problem-based learning curriculum, most medical students research the Internet for information for their “learning issues.” Internet sites such as “YouTube” have become a useful resource for information. This study aimed at assessing YouTube videos covering surface anatomy.
A search of YouTube was conducted from November 8 to 30, 2010 using research terms “surface anatomy,” “anatomy body painting,” “living anatomy,” “bone landmarks,” and “dermatomes” for surface anatomy-related videos. Only relevant video clips in the English language were identified and related URL recorded. For each videotape the following information were collected: title, authors, duration, number of viewers, posted comments, and total number of days on YouTube. The data were statistically analyzed and videos were grouped into educationally useful and non-useful videos on the basis of major and minor criteria covering technical, content, authority, and pedagogy parameters.
A total of 235 YouTube videos were screened and 57 were found to have relevant information to surface anatomy. Analysis revealed that 15 (27%) of the videos provided useful information on surface anatomy. These videos scored (mean ± SD, 14.0 ± 0.7) and mainly covered surface anatomy of the shoulder, knee, muscles of the back, leg, and ankle, carotid artery, dermatomes, and anatomical positions. The other 42 (73%) videos were not useful educationally, scoring (mean ± SD, 7.4 ± 1.8). The total viewers of all videos were 1,058,634. Useful videos were viewed by 497,925 (47% of total viewers). The total viewership per day was 750 for useful videos and 652 for non-useful videos. No video clips covering surface anatomy of the head and neck, blood vessels and nerves of upper and lower limbs, chest and abdominal organs/structures were found.
Currently, YouTube is an inadequate source of information for learning surface anatomy. More work is needed from medical schools and educators to add useful videos on YouTube covering this area.