An interactive method for teaching anatomy of the human eye for medical students in ophthalmology clinical rotations.


Journal Article

Much research has shown the benefits of additional anatomical learning and dissection beyond the first year of medical school human gross anatomy, all the way through postgraduate medical training. We have developed an interactive method for teaching eye and orbit anatomy to medical students in their ophthalmology rotation at Duke University School of Medicine. We provide review lectures on the detailed anatomy of the adult human eye and orbit as well as the developmental anatomy of the eye. These lectures are followed by a demonstration of the anatomy of the orbit using conventional frontal and superior exposures on a prosected human cadaver. The anatomy is projected onto a large LCD screen using a mounted overhead camera. Following a brief lecture on clinically relevant anatomy, each student then dissects a fresh porcine (pig) eye under low magnification using a dissecting microscope. These dissections serve to identify structures extrinsic to the eyeball, including extraocular muscle attachments, small vessels, optic nerve stalk, and fascial sheath of the eyeball (Tenon's fascia). Dissection then shifts to the internal anatomy of the eyeball. The size and anatomy of the porcine eye is comparable with that of the human and the dissection provides students with a valuable hands-on learning opportunity that is otherwise not available in embalmed human cadavers. Students and clinical faculty feedback reveal high levels of satisfaction with the presentation of anatomy and its scheduling early during the ophthalmology clerkship.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Kivell, TL; Doyle, SK; Madden, RH; Mitchell, TL; Sims, EL

Published Date

  • July 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 173 - 178

PubMed ID

  • 19637292

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19637292

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1935-9780

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1935-9772

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ase.95


  • eng