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Review of temporal bone dissection teaching: how it was, is and will be

  • A P George (a1) and R De (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 03 December 2009

We aimed to review the history of anatomical dissection, and to examine how modern educational techniques will change the way temporal bone dissection is taught to otolaryngology trainees.


Review of the literature using Medline, Embase and PubMed database searches.


Temporal bone anatomy has traditionally been taught using cadaveric specimens. However, resources such as three-dimensional reconstructed models and ‘virtual reality’ temporal bone simulators have a place in educating the otolaryngology trainee.


We should encourage the use of fresh frozen cadaveric temporal bone specimens for future otologists. Artificial three-dimensional models and virtual reality temporal bone simulators can be used to educate junior trainees, thus conserving the scarce resource of cadaveric bones.

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Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Mr Ajith P George, 17 Moreton Place, Scholar Green, Cheshire ST7 3LZ, UK. E-mail:
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