Physical therapy students at Samford University have been using the Anatomage Table to apply anatomy concepts into medical diagnoses and physical therapy examinations. Also, the Table has been facilitating self-study sessions and improving the anatomy learning process for students.

Integrating Anatomy Concepts Into Medical Diagnoses And Physical Therapy Examinations

At Samford, the Anatomage Table’s case library is used to teach medical diagnosis skills. For instance, the Table’s high-resolution images and library cases are referenced to analyze orthopedic conditions such as muscle injuries or joint arthritis. Viewing the injured muscles or joints that have osteoarthritis from the Table’s library, the students can identify which movements or actions produced by the muscles might be painful, investigating the potential illness.

The students are also trained to look at medical diagnoses that are not neuromusculoskeletal related. The goal is to detect the clinical features that suggest an underlying condition outside the scope of physical therapy. For example, after examining the anatomy of lung cancer or a thyroid mass on the kidneys from the Table’s library, the students discuss which body regions of the patient would experience the pain. By understanding pain referral patterns, the students can identify common clinical findings that might require further examination by another healthcare provider.

Further, the slicing feature on the Anatomage Table assists the students in conducting physical therapy examinations. In one instance, the feature is used to determine the planes of the joints – through sagittal, coronal, and horizontal views. The students are then able to specify the direction that would either compress (to produce pain) or separate the joint (to relieve pain).

24/7- Access to Virtual Dissection For Physical Therapy Students

When learning anatomy with traditional cadavers, students tend to face a challenge: instead of viewing and studying anatomical structures, they often spend more time finding them during dissection.  To address this challenge, Samford University provides physical therapy students 24/7 access to virtual cadaveric dissection. Through the use of virtual cadavers, students can dissect the same regions repeatedly, spending more time to practice dissection skills and study course materials.

The Table offers students the flexibility to learn anatomy in numerous ways. From isolating structures in the 3-dimensional form to dissecting and transecting anatomical structures to appreciating the anatomical shapes, students can construct a cadaveric model that fits their learning approach. Offering a unique and personalized experience, the Table allows students to study anatomy at their own pace, improving the students’ engagement during cadaveric dissections.

The Anatomage Table also helps students gain palpation and manual therapy intervention skills. Referring to the Anatomage Table’ cross-sectional anatomy portfolio, students can examine and observe the depth of tissues from various planes and angles.


Reference: Washmuth, Nick. (June 11, 2019), Phone Interview

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