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An Interactive Guide to the Study of Horse Transverse Sections

Dr. Jim Lish

The study of transverse sections is a traditional component of most veterinary anatomy courses.  To interpret transverse sections, veterinary students must switch from the three dimensions of their cadaver to the two-dimensional plane of the section.  The process of identifying structures from this new perspective sharpens the student's skills in topographical anatomy.  In our freshman Comparative Veterinary Anatomy course at Oklahoma State University I have observed that nothing elicits more group discussion and mental gymnastics than the interpretation of transverse sections.  They are extremely challenging for both instructors and students alike.

Several years ago I began to realize that transverse sections would lend themselves nicely to a web-based learning module.  Also, an additional benefit to this approach is that students would have less exposure to formalin.  Using this module students can study transverse sections in an atlas mode that is like an electronic text or a set of flashcards.   Students still have to identify structures on real transverse sections during laboratory examinations so their exposure to the actual specimens is not completely eliminated.

 This project is a work in progress and within the near future we hope to have transverse sections of the equine head and neck and axial sections of the distal limb and tarsal joint completed.   We also will be adding links that illustrate the clinical relevance of various structures and show how new imaging technology such as CT and MRI are very similar to transverse sections.

Begin Guide
 

Acknowledgments

This project would never have been possible without the cooperation and hard work of some dedicated people at our college.  The person who deserves special thanks is Ms. Chris Makarim.  Chris began working on this project during her second year of vet school and her enthusiasm has never waned.  In addition to providing an important student perspective on the project, Chris also selected and prepared the transverse sections, created the digital images, identified the important structures on the sections, collected visual materials for clinical links, and helped me write the atlas summaries.  

Mr. Brad Barnes and Ms. Merry Bryson of our Computer Support Services designed the program for the interactive learning mode.  Ms. Betty Handlin of our Multimedia Curriculum Development Center created the web design.  Miss Valerie Bays assisted in photographing the sections.  And finally, Dean Michael Lorenz came up with some creative ways to provide student scholarships to support summer work on this project.  

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