Purpose: The metaverse offers great potential for creating a new educational environment with unique experiences. Currently, it has been integrated into many stages of education, including classroom study aids, clinical skill interaction and image training simulators, thanks to a new generation of Internet applications. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive systematic review using bibliometric analysis on the metaverse in health education and analyze the trends and patterns of research output within the field. Design/methodology/approach: The paper conducts bibliometric analysis and follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to ensure a rigorous and transparent review process. Specifically, this article identifies research questions, develops a data-collection strategy and establishes a screening approach that includes determining relevant keywords and applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Findings: A bibliometric analysis is conducted comprising 231 studies from 145 scientific journals to assess the trends, patterns and collaboration networks in research on the use of metaverse technology in health education. This paper provides insights into the research themes, publication trends and countries leading in this field, which can guide future research in this field. Originality/value: The use of metaverse technology in health education has gained momentum in recent years. Despite this interest, comprehensive studies to review and analyze the existing literature on this topic systematically are lacking. In response, this paper provides a systematic review that explores the potential role of the metaverse in health education. By considering the current research, key trends, research hotspots and opportunities for future investigations are identified. The findings not only shed light on the current state of research but also offer guidance for advancing this exciting field.