Self-Guided Study Module for Thoracic Radiological Anatomy

Publication ID Published Volume
9288 December 13, 2012 8


Appreciation of thoracic anatomy spatial relationships is critical for long-term comprehension of anatomy. This self-guided study module for thoracic anatomy highlights important structures and guides students at their own pace through the complex process of realizing spatial relationships viewed in radiology atlases of serial and still imaging. It is intended to be used in conjunction with a human gross anatomy course to create synergistic learning of anatomy by multiple representations of structures. The guide makes complex radiological atlases that often contain overwhelming numbers of labels and descriptions more accessible to students. The descriptions in the guide are intentionally compatible with any serial imaging radiological atlas of normal thoracic human anatomy, digital or print. In addition, extensive single frame images and labeled serial imaging our included in this resource which may be of use to instructors and students as a stand-alone resource in and of themselves. This study guide has been time-tested for four years with improvements each year.

These materials were successfully implemented in 2008 and 2009, revised based on student feedback and study outcomes, and re-implemented in 2010 and 2011. Included here are the 2011 materials. Strongly positive student feedback was received, and formal evaluation of the 2008 version demonstrated statistically and practically significant higher radiology and gross anatomy exam scores (approximately a letter grade) when students utilized the study guide.


Phillips A, Binder D, Remo M, Ross C, Straus C. Self-guided study module for thoracic radiological anatomy. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2012;8:9288.

Educational Objectives

  1. To comprehend and apply the complex spatial relationships of structures as represented in the normal variant human thorax. This is assessed by embedded questions that ask for structures that are only partially visualized.
  2. To understand the relationship of form and function for key anatomical structures. This is assessed by embedded questions that provide the structure or its function and ask for its correlate.


  • Human Structure, Thorax, Radiological Atlas


Phillips AW, Ross C, Smith SG, Straus C. (Mar. 2010) Improved performance in medical student gross anatomy through radiographic imaging. Academy of University Radiologists Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

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ISSN 2374-8265