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Embracing Innovation: 3D Printed Models Revolutionize Training and Education in Hospitals


Medical education institutions are increasingly integrating 3D printed models into their curriculum to better prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. These models offer a hands-on experience that enhances traditional learning methods, providing students and surgeons with tangible and interactive tools to explore complex anatomical structures.

Watch how Southampton Hospital has integrated 3D printed models into their training and educational courses to enhance learning.

At Southampton, teaching often includes access to the Birmingham's Specimen Library’s preserved hearts, however is limited to the curator's handling. However, 3D printed models offer a new level of realism, allowing students to explore and understand anatomy more deeply. Dr. Tara Bharucha, a fetal and pediatric cardiologist at Southampton said, “The students can look inside the 3D printed models; they can stick their fingers in them; they can really gain an understanding of the anatomy.”

Moreover, the ability to create patient-specific 3D printed models enhances training opportunities for medical professionals. Future surgeons can practice rare surgeries in a safe environment, improving their skills and confidence. The introduction of 3D printed surgical models with tissue-mimicking material further enhances training, allowing surgeons to refine techniques without risk.

This technology accelerates learning and comprehension, benefiting both experienced surgeons and those in training. “One of the most common and still one of the most complex lesions in congenital heart disease is called the Tetralogy of Fallot," commented Mr. Nicola Viola, lead congenital heart surgeon at Southampton. “When I used the 3D model to illustrate this concept to the young surgeon that joined our practice three years ago, I believe that was his light bulb moment. Because all of a sudden, he understood the Tetralogy of Fallot in a fraction of the time that it took me to understand Tetralogy of Fallot following more than 10 years of training.”

In hospitals like Southampton, the adoption of 3D printed models signifies a significant advancement in medical education. As the healthcare industry evolves, embracing these innovations will undoubtedly lead to more effective training methods and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Learn how 3D models can help training and education at your hospital.

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