Hematology/oncology fellows must achieve bone marrow biopsy proficiency. However, opportunities for fellows to perform bone marrow biopsies on patients are highly dependent on clinical volume. An easily accessible and feasible system to practice these procedures repetitively has not been described. Other specialties use 3-dimensional (3D)–printed models to practice procedures, but hematology/oncology has not yet incorporated this novel medical education tool, which has the potential to provide such an accessible and feasible system for procedural practice.
We used design thinking to develop and pilot a bone marrow biopsy simulation using 3D-printed pelvis models. We printed and optimized 2 models through iterative prototyping. In July 2019, we conducted a 1-hour session with 9 fellows. After an anatomy review, fellows practiced biopsies using the models with faculty feedback. To evaluate feasibility, we reviewed session evaluations, measured fellow comfort, surveyed supervising attendings, and gathered fellow and attending feedback.
Fellows rated the 3D session highly. Fellow comfort improved after orientation. Supervisors noted no difference between the 2019 fellows and prior years. Fellows praised the opportunity to rehearse mechanics, receive feedback, and internalize anatomy. Fellows suggested incorporating a female pelvis and more soft tissue. Attending feedback on the model aligned with fellow feedback. We implemented the session again in 2020 with adjustments based on feedback.
Three-dimensional printing represents an accessible and feasible educational tool. Three-dimensional–printed models provide opportunities for iterative practice, feedback, and anatomy visualization. Future iterations should continue to incorporate user feedback to optimize model utility.