One of the ways that medical school students learn is through operating on human cadavers. However the combination of more people going into the medical profession and more people living longer have resulted in a shortage of dead bodies for med students to operate on.According to MedCity News, which is produced by the Mayo Clinic, Monash University in Australia seems to have come up with a solution. They propose 3D printing human body parts.
The way it works is hat an actual human being is scanned and then his or her body parts are 3D printed layer by layer in appropriate colors. Thus simulated body parts will be available without the expense of cold storage for medical students to learn from.
The one drawback is that cadavers are still needed for students to dissect and practice surgical techniques on. But even this will one day be addressed by the emerging technology of 3D printing.
Researchers are already delving into the idea of printing body parts made of human tissue that can be used for transplanting. There is no reason to believe that an entire body – lifeless of course – could not one day be printed for medical students to practice their skills with the knife on.
In this kind of arrangement, cadavers can be custom built to simulate certain conditions that a surgeon will have to deal with, say an enlarged heart, a cancer tumor, or a spinal injury. Thus the science of medical education will be changed for the better.