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MANUSCRIPT: Is a Three-Dimensional Printing Model Better Than a Traditional Cardiac Model for Medical Education?

BACKGROUND:
Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a newly-emerged technology converting a series of two-dimensional images to a touchable 3D model, but no studies have investigated whether or not a 3D printing model is better than a traditional cardiac model for medical education.
METHODS:
A 3D printing cardiac model was generated using multi-slice computed tomography datasets. Thirty-four medical students were randomized to either the 3D Printing Group taught with the aid of a 3D printing cardiac model or the Traditional Model Group with a commonly used plastic cardiac model. Questionnaires with 10 medical questions and 3 evaluative questions were filled in by the students.
RESULTS:
A 3D printing cardiac model was successfully generated. Students in the 3D Printing Group were slightly quicker to answer all questions when compared with the Traditional Model Group (224.53 ± 44.13 s vs. 238.71 ± 68.46 s, p = 0.09), but the total score was not significantly different (6.24 ± 1.30 vs. 7.18 ± 1.70, p = 0.12). Neither the students’satisfaction (p = 0.48) nor their understanding of cardiac structures (p = 0.24) was significantly different between two groups. More students in the 3D Printing Group believed that they had understood at least 90% of teaching content (6 vs. 1). Both groups had 12 (70.6%) students who preferred a 3D printing model for medical education.
CONCLUSIONS:
A 3D printing model was not significantly superior to a traditional model in teaching cardiac diseases in our pilot randomized controlled study, yet more studies may be conducted to validate the real effect of 3D printing on medical education.

via Is a Three-Dimensional Printing Model Better Than a Traditional Cardiac Model for Medical Education? A Pilot Randomized Controlled Study. – PubMed – NCBI.

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Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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