Constantly Learning: How Med Students Use 3D Technology to Study Anytime, Anywhere

“I was sitting at a coffee shop in Harvard Square and needed to transfer my Human Anatomy Atlas app from an old Surface Pro to a new one. The customer service team was extremely helpful.”

This is how the Visible Body team first met Joseph Sauer. It was a few years ago...

“Since it seemed like Visible Body was very sensitive to the needs of its customers, I thought to mention that as a pre-med student the Visible Body app was awesome…but I had a few ideas for making it an even better resource…”

Soon after that initial interaction, Joe became part of a group of medical students and physicians that helps the Visible Body team make the study of anatomy accessible to every pre-medical student, medical student, and medical professional.

Joe Sauer, medical student and Visible Body Beta Tester.

He was a great fit for that group because he’d had a lot of practice studying and teaching: he’d been a biomedical patent lawyer for a number of years before deciding to apply to med school. And while Joe finalized his MCAT preparation, he served as a teaching assistant at the Harvard University Extension School and Harvard College.

The more he talked to us, the more we realized that, like us, he too was always thinking of ways to improve learning by leveraging technology.

“I held physics and general chemistry discussion sections at the Extension School, as well as organic chemistry office hours and laboratory sessions at the college. At the Extension School, we offered students online and on-campus discussion sessions. By streaming many of our discussion sections for physics, and creating video guides to problem solving, we made physics more accessible to students in the Boston-Cambridge area and even students in other countries.”

These days Joe is finishing his third year of med school. His daily schedule is intense:

4:30 a.m. Wake up
6:00 a.m. At the hospital, preparing for rounds
6:00 p.m. On his way home
6:30p.m. – 11 p.m. Dinner and evening reading

Joe’s med school student schedule shows why he lists time management as a big skill for any medical student to exercise. His schedule also shows why we are so thankful for the interest he has in continuing to beta test all our new Human Anatomy Atlas features!

"Most medical students know they don’t have any time in a typical day; they should know that there are resources such as Visible Body that enable accessible learning anywhere. As a learner, you want tools that are always available because it’s not a given when you’re going to be able to review or learn new material. Even while I have standard anatomy texts as eBooks, it is important to be able to appreciate the relationships between structures in the body — this is where Visible Body’s Human Anatomy Atlas is essential.

"One time after my M1 year, I was sitting in on a neurosurgery and I noticed a resident physician trying to review neurological structures in a neuroanatomy text — but the lighting was poor and the images were static. I immediately reached for Visible Body. Soon, we were referencing structures as the operation unfolded. This is the kind of learning and referencing that Visible Body enables. It’s compelling because it makes learning and reviewing immediately accessible — e.g., referencing structures in a gross anatomy lab session or when observing a surgery.

"As a medical student you’re constantly learning and applying knowledge — constantly managing a stream of information. No matter who you are, you’re going to experience difficulty in medical school because the demand for learning is constant. Visible Body is a great company and its products are wonderful resources because it is always asking what it can do to make learning more intuitive and accessible to medical students."

Since that day when he reached out to Visible Body while studying in Harvard Square, Joe said Visible Body’s willingness to listen and adapt to student needs has supported him and made learning easier.

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