Introduction: The presentation of surgical contents to undergraduate medical students can be challenging, as the
surgical approach is often different from the anatomist’s perspective that is reproduced in textbooks. Although there are
many options to record endoscopic, microscopic as well as “open” surgical procedures, presentation of contents still can
be costly and entail a loss in picture quality including depth impression.
Material and methods: We presented seven stereoscopic clips of 30 seconds to minute and 20 seconds each to 64
medical students (43 female / 21 male) as part of the “sensory organs” course module in 4th year; using one 55” LCD 3D
screen with line-alternating, circular polarization. Students were asked for their subjective viewing impression and about
their opinion on the usefulness of 3D presentations in medical lectures.
Results: 63% of students returned their questionnaires completed. The main results (multiple answers allowed) were:
70% noted that 3D presentations made complex anatomy easier to comprehend from an unknown perspective, 48%
would feel better motivated to learn surgical procedures, and 38% would generally prefer a 3D lecture to a 2D lecture,
while 23% would not see any advantage of 3D presentations whatsoever.
Conclusion: While the screen size compared to audience size was far from ideal, it gave medical students, who had not
been exposed to surgical procedures in the operating theatre yet, an impression of general approach to microsurgery and
how the choice of surgical approach in relation of vital structures can minimize trauma and unwanted effects to the
patient. The availability of larger screens, however, may necessitate changes in production of 3D material from the
microscope camera onward.