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Classic anatomy videos still going strong 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

I’ll leave off the blogging and social media for a couple weeks here while I wrap up an advanced anatomy course, one of three remaining courses I need to complete a Bachelor of Health Sciences in my so-called spare time. But before I go, a quick review of a terrific anatomy resource I’ve been using: Acland’s Video Atlas of Humany Anatomy.

I have fond memories of these videos from the school library when I was last studying anatomy in the late 90s, so I went looking for them. I found a pirated copy, and watched enough of that to be satisfied that they are just as good as I remembered, and then I went looking to buy — fearing I might find only DVD (acceptable, but not great — all I’ve got for playing DVDs anymore is an old Xbox that sounds like a jet warming up for takeoff). To my happy surprise, this rather antiquated old series is still alive and well, and remastered for modern tech — streaming video from! Everything is organized and indexed, and you can navigate to specific anatomy easily. Although the age of the videos shows in many ways — some of those backgrounds just scream “1983!” — it’s also clear that a lot of work has been put into maintaining and improving them.

The secret to the quality of the videos is Dr. Robert Acland’s relentlessly deft and mild-mannered narration, paired with extremely effective rotating views of skilled dissections (example). There may be higher tech presentations of dissection video available today, but this one is standing the test of time just swimmingly.

As an entrepreneur, I’m also charmed by the business model: create something amazing and then charge for access. I assume and hope that Dr. Acland is continuing to earn a decent residual income from his intellectual property — originally created decades ago! Good for him, and good for anatomy students. Fun fact: according to the website, every minute of the videos took about twelve hours to create!

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