Last week, I highlighted the UNLV School of Medicine anatomy curriculum that includes virtual anatomy tables to deliver a multidimensional learning experience for our students. The faculty member responsible for planning and delivering this new curriculum is Jeffrey Fahl, MD, director of anatomy.
About Dr. Jeff Fahl
Dr. Fahl joined the medical school faculty in January from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, where he practiced and taught pediatric gastroenterology. Dr. Fahl has been a practicing pediatric gastroenterologist for nearly 36 years. He has always had an interest in radiology and anatomy and is excited he can combine his interests at the UNLV School of Medicine.
Fahl grew up in the Pocono Mountains in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. His father was a surgeon, so he learned at a very young age how hard physicians work and the role they play in their communities. His father had little time to do household repairs, but he supervised his young son in learning how to do all kinds of household projects. "My father would buy me woodworking and electrical kits, which I enjoyed. These kits actually led to a lifelong hobby," says Dr. Fahl. In junior high, he built his mother a grandmother clock. In college, he helped frame and complete all the finishing work on his family's summer home on a lake in the Poconos. To this day, he builds clocks and furniture in his spare time. He spent a year between college and med school working on the IT team that installed the first computerized monitoring system in the intensive care unit at Harvard's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.
Fahl's ability to understand and repair almost anything involving wood, electrical and computer parts will ensure the medical school's Sectra virtual anatomy tables are functioning properly.
He is currently learning everything he can about the Sectra anatomy tables and building a robust anatomy curriculum based on his depth of knowledge.
The anatomy course consists of one half-day a week for the first year. The anatomy curriculum will be integrated into the problem-based patient cases at the core of our basic science curriculum for the first 18 months. That's just the start -- the material on the tables will be used throughout the educational experience. The radiographic material can be sent to the students' IPads and computers, which allows students and their faculty to see and discuss the same images and content from any location.
In Europe, virtual anatomy is used extensively. S
urgeons use the Sectra tables to plan complex operations. They can even be combined with digital printers to build models of the patient's anatomy that surgeons can use to practice difficult procedures.
In the U.S., UNLV School of Medicine will be one of the first medical schools to use virtual anatomy instead of traditional gross dissection.
In planning the school's anatomy curriculum, Dr. Fahl has worked closely with Richard L Drake, PhD, from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and editor of the textbook, "Gray's Anatomy", and
Kyle Petersen, PhD, an emeritus anatomy professor from Emory University School of Medicine who has retired to Las Vegas. The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine will move to virtual anatomy when its new medical education building is completed.
Two doctoral students in physical anthropology, Alehsa Pettit and Claira Ralston, will serve as graduate assistants, helping medical students during lab and after class.
The combination of the experienced anatomy professors, Dr. Fahl's clinical expertise, and the new virtual anatomy tables are helping us build a very powerful and exciting anatomy experience for our students. Learn more about our virtual anatomy program by watching this
featuring Dr. Fahl.
Dr. Fahl's education and background
Fahl majored in chemistry at Beloit College and always knew he wanted to go to medical school but thought he wanted to be a surgeon. He attended Hahnemann Medical College (now Drexel College of Medicine) and graduated in 1978. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Hahnemann Hospital and then his pediatric gastroenterology (GI) subspecialty training at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
After completing his fellowship, he joined the faculty at Hahnemann Hospital. He has been a practicing pediatric gastroenterologist for nearly 36 years and has taught his specialty at Monmouth Medical Center, New Jersey; University of New Mexico School of Medicine; and the University of Washington School of Medicine.
We're so fortunate to have Dr. Fahl on our facuty to teach our medical students and plan our anatomy curriculum. Starting in July, he will also start seeing patients with pediatric residents to help them care for children with problems in feeding, nutrition, and other abdominal symptoms.