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Virtual reality in surgery and, more specifically, in surgical training, faces a number of challenges in the future. These challenges are building realistic models of the human body, creating interface tools to view, hear, touch, feel, and manipulate these human body models, and integrating virtual reality systems into medical education and treatment. A final system would encompass simulators specifically for surgery, performance machines, telemedicine, and telesurgery. Each of these areas will need significant improvement for virtual reality to impact medicine successfully in the next century. This article gives an overview of, and the challenges faced by, current systems in the fast-changing field of virtual reality technology, and provides a set of specific milestones for a truly realistic virtual human body.