An article looking at the introduction of virtual dissection tables into high schools to enhance the groundwork for and encourage an increase in higher health professions education.


Looming in the corner of a small classroom at Battle Ground High School is the future of medical education.

Reminiscent of the infamous monoliths from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the Anatomage Table is a new piece of technology that allows students to conduct virtual dissections and view detailed scans of cadavers and various organs.

“This thing is insane,” said Tracee Godfrey, a health science instructor. “It’s smarter than I am, I swear.”

Nearly seven feet tall when propped up vertically, the device’s touch screen can be used to closely examine real-life scans of bodies that were donated to science. Students can view the various layers of human anatomy, from the labyrinth-like nervous system to the skeleton. Since the scans are of real bodies, they feature a much more realistic variation of health than the overly perfect visualizations of the human body that are often used in classes.

Not only that, but the device has scans of individual organs that can be animated, displaying how our heart, for example, looks when we’re resting versus when we’re exercising.

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