Reprinted with permission from Elselvier, The Lancet, Volume 363 (Issue 9404), 17 January 2004, Page 254
N Eizenberg, C Briggs, P Barker, I Grkovic.
Melbourne: Anatomedia Pty, 2000-03.
$269.85 for 3 CD-ROMs. General Anatomy ISBN 0 734 02691 9; Thorax ISBN 0 734 02675 7; and Back/Abdomen ISBN 0 646 40731 7.
You probably remember your anatomy course with some trepidation - endless hours spent memorising thousands of Latin terms before attempting to put them in the context of the human body and of clinical practice. When I received the three CDs that comprise An@tomedia, I wondered, as an anatomy teacher, whether they offered more than the many anatomy programs already available. I quickly concluded that An@tomedia would have revolutionised my student days.
Technophobes should be reassured about the ease of use of this multimedia package. The first step was simple: the CDs were easy to install and specifications readily met by most modern computers. The most important requirements are a 2 MB video card and QuickTime 5.02 or higher (an installation program for QuickTime 6.0 is included).
I started with the General Anatomy CD, and was immediately convinced of its quality. It is introduced by a video clip explaining anatomical terminology and the CD's four-pronged approach: systems and regions are discussed from a theoretical perspective, and dissection and imaging from a practical one. I was especially impressed with the section on general dissection, ,which had detailed explanations of dissections and post-mortem procedures as well as clinically relevant procedures such as incision and wound closure, joint and body cavity taps, injection and nerve blocks, and vascular access. These details are useful not only for beginners in anatomy, but also for older students doing clinical rounds; remembering the anatomical basis of what they are expected to do every day on the ward will surely help students feel more comfortable, as well as improving patients' wellbeing.
The section of the General Anatomy CD on regional anatomy is also superb. I especially liked the parts on human form and structure, which related the structure of the human body to that of other mammals and vertebrates. The section is also an excellent introduction to body growth and development, normal variations in structure and position, pathological changes, and the principles behind dividing the body into regions. The imaging section includes many plain and contrast radiographs, and CT, MRI, ultrasonography, and endoscopy images.
The systems section covers major organs and somatic systems. useful images are always available in a window on the left-hand side, which is flanked by buttons enabling outlining or colouring of specific structures. A feature especially helpful for self-directed learning is the "hot dot": a device which highlights important structures whose proper anatomical name is revealed by a roll of the mouse.
The text follows the Terminologia Anatomica. This approach is commendable; many anatomy books and atlases still do not follow the nomenclature of the Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology, agreed in 1998. The text is concise and engaging and contains many questions. Clicking on an individual question opens a separate window with the explanation. Each screen also has a constant "interaction" panel in the lower right-hand corner, which enables switching among the four sections. There is also a link to the indexthat allows you to search for a specific structure. The other two CDs, Thorax and Back/Abdomen, have the same user interface and offer the same quality of images and interactive approach to anatomical structures.
An@tomedia is a product of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Melbourne, Australia. I found more than 60 names in the list of credits - a clear indication of the complexity and extent of the work behind this project, which is led by four anatomy teachers, all from the University of Melbourne.
The An@tomedia website (http://www.anatomedia.com) announces the releases of five more modules: Neck, Head, Upper Limb, Lower Limb, and Pelvis. The Pelvis module is scheduled for 2004, and the other modules are to follow. An@tomedia is a project that will continue to develop, and one that has already received several awards for multimedia teaching aids.
An@tomedia will appeal not only to medical students, but also to medical practitioners. Health-care workers will find it useful for clinical practice and for communication with patients. I also recommend An@tomedia to teachers from countries where dissection is not done for cultural, financial, or other reasons. Although in learning anatomy nothing can replace actual dissection, An@tomedia will combine an interactive photographic atlas, gross anatomy dissection tool, radiology overview, coloured overlays, and anatomy textbook in a single multimedia package.
Zagreb University School of Medicine,
Salata 3, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Reprinted with permission from Elselvier
The Lancet, Volume 363 (Issue 9404), 17 January 2004, Page 254
Review from the Melbourne University Medical Students Society, 2006
AN@TOMEDIA – GENERAL ANATOMY
Ask anyone who’s a few semesters into their course and they can tell you that one of their major disappointments with the course has been Anatomy. In particular
contact hours are minimal, the tutor/cadaver per student ratio maximal. In the study of anatomy, understanding concepts is crucial to succeeding and
while many textbooks cover concepts extensively, too often are they also unorganized, confusing and information overloaded. Well meddies have no fear,
An@tomedia is here. An@tomedia stands for A New Approach TO Medical Education: Developments In Anatomy. It is a self-learning resource, presenting
information at a level you require as a medical student with the flexibility to choose your sequence, rate and depth of learning. Several modules including
back, thorax, abdomen and pelvis have already been published, but it’s the general anatomy module that no student should be without. An@tomedia is
fully interactive, allowing you to explore the human body from 4 different perspectives; dissection, systems, regions and imaging. With the general
anatomy module you will be guided through the principles of dissection and learn the anatomical basis behind and the techniques used to perform several
general procedures such as wound closures, nerve blocks and arterial puncture. Maneuvering your way through the systems perspective you learn about
the structure and function of bones, joints, muscle, viscera, nerves and vessels, allowing you to systematically build your knowledge of important
concepts such as anastomoses and junctional zones. The presence of hot dots on every screen and color overlays of all images allows self testing and
clinical questions, with answers just a click away, complement the majority of topics discussed making study rewarding. Through interactive text and
images you can similarly map out all the regions of the body and clearly understand surface and functional anatomy. In your first few prac classes
you would have been introduced to the thoroughly confusing world of radiographs, MRIs, CTs and ultrasound. The imaging perspective is a unique resource
in that in addition to explaining the principles of imaging techniques; it assists you in learning on how to read X-rays, MRIs and the like in your
own time away from 20 other students asking the tutor what that dark thing beneath that slightly darker thing is. An@tomedia will never be able to
fully supplant the value of real-life, hands-on dissections and tutor-guided prac classes, but nevertheless it is an important tool in modern-day study
of medicine. With more and more modules currently available it may become pricey to own all modules but we highly recommended you at least own General
Anatomy and make use of the others in the SCRC and the Museum.
AN@TOMEDIA – BACK
If the anatomy of the back is sending shivers up your spine, then you need to consult your friendly An@tomedia. Far more than just a computerised atlas,
the program helps you relate traditional anatomy textbook information of structures directly to their dissected appearance. For pre-clinical students
in Semester 3, you should view the relevant slides in the dissection perspective of an@tomedia before each practical class, so you know what you are
looking at and what you should be looking for. It is also useful for understanding the lecture material presented, with particularly good schematic
diagrams of back muscles, and disc prolapse/herniation. An@tomedia is absolutely essential for the applied anatomy questions in the syllabus (both
clinically important and examination-worthy), as these questions are answered within the program, rather than during lectures. The program contains
far more detail than you will need to know at this stage, but remains a resource should you wish to come back to it in your clinical and even post-graduate
years. In clinical years, it provides access to dissection that you no longer have, and the coverage of procedures such as lumbar puncture and epidural
anaesthesia will become more relevant as you are witnessing them in hospital. Imaging, that which is most mystifying to many medical students (of all
years), is made so breathtakingly clear in an@tomedia that I regret not using it earlier. In this module, the focus is on plain radiography, which
also comes with labeled image overlays that delineate the structures, and text that helps you identify normal and abnormal presentations. The many
aspects covered in an@tomedia make it a very useful and efficient resource to enhance your anatomy.
AN@TOMEDIA – ABDOMEN
It takes a lot of guts to study the abdomen and an@tomedia remains your best guide for the journey. Preclinical students should use the dissection perspective
before each practical class, to get a good idea of what they will be looking at and what they should be looking for, as it vastly increases the benefits
of attending. The abdomen module, in addition to the embalmed cadaver dissection, contains an unembalmed post-mortem dissection, as well as dissections
of excised viscera. Important concepts that are traditionally difficult to grasp, such as the structure of the inguinal canal, are shown to great effect
in the systems perspective, with labeled, layer-by-layer construction. An@tomedia allows you to to quickly move between schematic and dissected views,
helping you to understand the crucial concept of intraperitoneal and retroperitoneal abdominal viscera. The many imaging modalities of the abdomen
are explored in this module, and while it is interesting to watch the endoscopy video footage, the imaging is not as immediately useful to pre-clinical
students as it is in other modules. An@tomedia provides the answers to the applied anatomy questions of the syllabus (which are both clinically important
and prime examination fodder) that you do not receive in lectures. An@tomedia goes into more detail on many topics than you will need to know in Semester
2, especially as you may be still grappling with the terminology, but you will return to it in later years, for example in semester 4, to review the
lumbar plexus. In clinical years, you may wish to review procedures you are witnessing or assisting with, such as liver and kidney biopsy, abdominal
incisions and peritoneal tap, vasectomy and hydrocele tap, as well as achieving a greater understanding of the surface anatomy used in your clinical
examinations. For efficient anatomy study outside of class, consult an@tomedia.
AN@TOMEDIA – THORAX
An@tomedia Thorax provides a wealth of knowledge across the four domains of An@tomedia; dissection, systems, regions and imaging. Most impressive are the
post-mortem dissections that show the internal organs in situ and excised where the color of the organs is not altered by the fixation process that
prac class cadavers go through. Procedures such as pneumothorax treatment are discussed according to anatomical basis and factors critical in selecting
site for a procedure and possible hazards, something that often appears on exams but is not always covered in the busy prac sessions. Similarly the
other 3 perspectives are on the ball with what we need to know coming out of Semester 4 and the beauty of it is that after a few years when more detailed
knowledge of anatomy is required these CDs will still remain helpful and relevant. Packed with relevant clinical questions and easy to understand diagrammatic
representations of hard to visualize regions, An@tomedia Thorax is an exciting development that incorporates both textbook and atlas in one easy to
use format. Available to purchase from the bookroom, but if the budget does not provide for such luxuries make sure you use facilities provided at
the SCRC and Anatomy museum.
AN@TOMEDIA – PELVIS
An@tomedia Pelvis is the newest addition to the An@tomedia family with the same trademark interactive and appealing approach we are familiar with from
previous modules. It is covered from the four usual perspectives (dissection, regions, systems and imaging) setting it apart from most anatomy textbooks
available on the market. From the dissection perspective you can layer by layer construct and deconstruct both the male and female pelvis and perineum
and guide yourself through the fully labeled images. In addition, you are introduced to some of the general procedures such as urinary catherization
and rectal examinations while in the systems and regions perspectives you learn anatomical concepts and their relevant applications. It’s easy to get
overwhelmed in your prac classes to the point where you cannot distinguish muscle from fascia but with colored and interactive overlays of individual
structures, using An@tomedia you get more of an idea what’s what and where. The imaging perspectives is a great tool because it allows you to in your
own time examine radiographs and MRIs and focus on identifying key landmarks rather then just rushing at the end of prac class. Overall, An@tomedia
Pelvis is another valuable instrument that if used wisely and sufficiently would enhance your study of anatomy. It’s available in the computer room
and the anatomy museum, so please do make use of it.
Review from the Melbourne University Medical Students Society, 2006
ANZ J Surgery Review
Australian & New Zealand Journal of Surgery, Vol. 76, 2006, p. 709
Anatomedia: a New Approach to Medical Education Developments in Anatomy. By N. EIZENBERG, C. BRIGGS, P. BARKER and I. GRKOVIC. Australia: University of Melbourne, 2000-2005. CD-ROM. 5 disks. General Anatomy: ISBN 0 734 02691 9; Thorax: ISBN 0 734 02675 7; Back: ISBN 0 734 026765; Abdomen: ISBN 0 734 02677 3; Pelvis: ISBN 0 734 02729 X. Price A$69.95 to $139.00 per disk.
Not an atlas, not an anatomy text nor an electronic version of a book, this is a timely, fresh approach to anatomy. This award-winning publication makes unique and ingenious use of computer-assisted learning.
Anatomedia is a dissection-based learning resource, a CD-ROM, which works on modem Macintosh and IBM PC computers.
The five disks released so far cover general anatomy, thorax, abdomen, pelvis and back. The author Norman Eizenberg and his team at University of Melbourne's Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology have produced a novel response to the reduction of anatomy in new medical school curricula. The modem student of medicine can supplement a scanty exposure to anatomical dissection and specimens by using this tool in now-familiar computer interactive fashion.
The work is consistently organized with four interesting perspectives on each disk - dissection, systems, regions and imaging. The actual dissected specimens are brilliant, viewable layer by layer, with optional 'hot-dot' labels, and recreate the combined experience of a dissecting room, anatomical atlas, dissecting manual and tutorial.
The first disk gives a very good introduction to general anatomical concepts. The other disks reinforce the conceptual and functional philosophy of the work. Copious clinical and procedural applications are provided in each area, including surgical approaches. Surface anatomy, imaging and sectional anatomy are well treated in each region, preparing the student for the physical examination of patients and the interpretation of radiographs and scans in clinical practice. Interactive text is well prioritized, and the 'hot-dot' labels on the images and clinical questions (with answers) guide the student through each area, reminiscent of an anatomy demonstrator in action.
As an example in the thorax, the normal aortic arch, branches and relations are well shown and some variations described. Changing terminology can be a challenge; here it is consistent and gives few problems. The heart and coronary anatomy are easy to follow, although an extra label of the modem clinical parlance 'left anterior descending branch' would prepare students to recognize the anterior interventricular coronary artery when it is referred to in practice.
As examples in the abdomen, the peritoneal recesses and inguinal canal that are difficult concepts are shown here accurately and explained clearly.
Embryology is a traditional part of anatomical understanding. Normal development and some abnormalities are outlined here, but perhaps future disks will consolidate the topic to explain conditions such as arch variations, branchial cysts, abnormal cavae, congenital cardiac and urological anomalies and maldescent of testes.
Specialists will naturally need much more detailed knowledge in their own areas. This applies particularly to surgeons, proceduralists, pathologists, manipulative therapists and diagnostic imagers and stresses the need for a further study of anatomy and dissection opportunities in their training programmes. But Anatomedia provides a very sound start, in easily assimilable bites and style, and anatomy always improves with periodic revision. Students, medical faculties and libraries will eagerly await the next disks on head, neck and the limbs.
Nothing yet invented beats actually dissecting the body for the privilege as a human to journey where many have fought so hard against religious and doctrinal obstacles, for naked-eye discovery and acquiring a working knowledge of how we're constructed, for marvel and awe at how we've evolved so closely packed and beautifully functional. Anatomedia helps those denied the opportunity of fully dissecting or operating on the body to sense the miracle it is and to practise better medicine.
PETER L. FIELD
Vascular Surgery Unit
Royal Melbourne and Epworth Hospitals,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
"ANZ J Surgery Review", Australian & New Zealand Journal of Surgery, Vol. 76, 2006, p. 709
Current textbooks and anatomy of the prostate: A case for an update
Nathan Lawrentschuk, Uri Lindner, Neil Fleshner British Journal of Urology international (BJU int) 2009, 103 (10), 1319-1322
An evaluation of the use of multiple perspectives in the design of computer-facilitated learning.
Kennedy D, Eizenberg N, Kennedy G. The Australian Journal of Educational Technology 2000, 16 (1): 13-25
Anatomedia CD wins top ATOM award
UniNEWS, Monday 14 July 2003, p.3
An educational CD ROM developed at the University of Melbourne has won the Best General Multimedia category at the 21st annual Australlian Teachers of
Media (ATOM) awards.
The award-winning CD, An@tomedia: Thorax, provides students of anatomy at all levels - as well as medical and allied health practitioners - with a unique
desktop-based way to learn about the anatomy of the upper trunk of the human body.
The CD is the product of innovative courseware design by the An@tomedia team in the University's Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Department
of Teaching, Learning and Research Support (TeLaRS).
Thorax is one of nine CD ROMs in the An@tomedia series on human anatomy being developed over a I0-year period. It was among more than 700 entries across
32 categories competing in this year's ATOM awards, announced recently at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square. The ATOM
awards celebrate the best of Australian film, television and multimedia products and are open to all students, industry practitioners, educational
bodies and educational producers.
An@tomedia CDs provide a novel approach to learning about human anatomy by presenting it from multiple perspectives. The user can construct the body (via
regions and systems) and deconstruct it (via dissection and imaging).
Content is both conceptual and practical, with opportunities to view. for example. images of serial dissection or review the anatomy relevant to cardiopulmonary
resuscitation and a range of other training procedures.
Key features of the CD series includes detailed serial dissection of real human bodies, coloured overlays of structures, interactive text, images and clinical
questions. All information is conveniently linked using an index and search engine for flexible learning.
An@tomedia has so far completed and launched CDs covering Back, Abdomen and Thorax and is putting a fourth, General Anatomy, through final testing for
release in second semester.
Leading An@tomedia are Dr Norm Eizenberg, Associate Professor Christopher Briggs, Ms Priscilla Barker and Dr lvica Grkovic, who received the ATOM award
on behalf of other members of the team in Anatomy and Cell Biology and TeLaRS.
For more information on An@tomedia CD series see: www.anatomedia.com. CDs in the series can be ordered from the University of Melbourne Bookshop website:
Vol. 12, No. 12, 14-28 July 2003
Bloodless dissection via CD-ROM
The Australian: Higher Education, Wednesday July 21, 1999, p.35
Medical students will soon be able to dissect a body any time they wish - and then put it back together to dissect again.
An@tomedia, a new multimedia teaching tool developed at the University of Melbourne, is the key to allowing students to interactively explore anatomy form
Chief dissector in the department of anatomy and cell biology at the university, Priscilla Barker, said the CD-ROM was not intended as a replacement for
real-time it more meaningful.
"Any person who teaches anatomy would say the experiential learning someone gets from dissection is really important." Ms Barker said.
"You would never want a surgeon to operate on you without having had the experience of doing it before on a cadaver... This way students know what they
have to look for in their practical classes."
Funded by grants from the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs and the university, the CD-ROM will be launched on Friday. It will be available
in eight modules - the back, abdomen, thorax, upper limb, lower limb, pelvis, neck and head. Two modules are completed, with the remaining expected
to be completed by 2001.
Ms Barker said the CD-ROM would be a valuable resource for any tertiary students studying anatomy - including students of medicine, science, physiotherapy,
dentistry, nursing, chiropractic, osteopathy and massage.
She said An@tomedia would also be useful doctors to explain problems to patients and would be an important aid for anatomy students in countries where
dissection is not performed for culturnal reasons.
Associate Professor Christopher Briggs said An@tomedia took up the challenge facing medical educators worldwide - the need to reduce dissection and tutorial
time in an increaslingly croweded medical curriculum.
He said the resource didn't presume prior knowledge of anatomy and an optional text enabled exploration at all levels of difficulty.
The project was a joint team effort by the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Multimedia Education Unit.
Wednesday July 21 1999
Congratulations! Associate Professor Norman Eizenberg
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons: Surgical News, October, 2016, p.48
HONORARY FELLOWSHIP OF THE RACS
“The Council of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons admits from time to time distinguished surgeons, scientists and other persons to Honorary Fellowship of the College in recognition of their contributions to Surgery, Surgeons and the College. The purpose of the award is to recognise significant work of eminent individuals in any field of endeavour."
CONVOCATION CEREMONY AT ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS 2016
ROYAL AUSTRALASIAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS
(with the ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF ENGLAND)
HONORARY FELLOWSHIP CITATION:
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR NORMAN EIZENBERG
Norman Eizenberg graduated in medicine from the University of Melbourne and is currently Associate Professor in the Centre for Human Anatomy Education, Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Monash University as well as Head of Clinical Teaching and Supervision in the Melbourne Clinical School at The University of Notre Dame. He is a distinguished academic with nearly 40 years' experience teaching medical students and surgical trainees. At Melbourne University Norman rose through the ranks from Demonstrator, Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer where he coordinated the teaching of anatomy to medical students and contributed to major Faculty revisions of the medical curriculum. He joined the staff at Monash in 2009 and Notre Dame in 2016. His major areas of research are medical education and the surgical significance of anatomical variations.
His College association dates from 1976 when he gained top marks in the Part 1 Fellowship examination. Norman has been a key coordinator of the GSSE program and a senior examiner on the Anatomy Discipline Committee of the College. He is also a long standing contributor to basic sciences for the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and an anatomy examiner for the College of Radiology.
Norm is the project leader of the widely acclaimed, multimedia, e-learning program Anatomedia Online, which comprehensively explores anatomy from multiple perspectives providing flexibility and interactivity for the student to "construct" the human body, by systems and regions or "deconstruct" the body, by dissection and imaging. This provides surgical trainees, with limited resources and heavy clinical commitments, the opportunity to study online in their own time and place of choice. Associate Professor Eizenberg is a co founder of the very successful, dissection-based post graduate Diploma in Surgical Anatomy offered by Melbourne University in association with the College. He is a founding member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists (ANZACA).
Norm Eizenberg is an outstanding teacher with a strong commitment to our College and a worthy recipient of an Honorary Fellowship of this College.
Citation kindly provided by Mr Richard Wong She FRACS and Mr Lubomyr Lemech FRACS
Cutting edge CD to show a slice of life
UniNEWS, Monday 2 August 1999, p.1
Medical students can now dissect a human body - and then put it back together to dissect again.
Using An@tomedia - a new multimedia teaching tool developed at the University of Melbourne - students are now able to explore interactively anatomy from
The An@tomedia CD was developed in the University's Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology by Dr Norman Eizenberg, Associate Professor Christopher Briggs,
Ms Priscilla Barker and Dr Ivica Grkovic. Software development was carried out by the University's Multimedia Education Unit.
A comprehensive and self-contained program, An@tomedia takes an innovative approach to anatomy teaching which complements the new problem-based, undergraduate
medical curriculum introduced at the University this year.
Professor Briggs says that An@tomedia has taken up the challendge facing medical educators worldwide - the need to reduce dissection and tutorial time
in an incresingly crowded medical curriculum.
"One of its major strengths is the flexibility it offers students," he says. "It provides them with a detailed resource to use before, during and after
practical and tutorials so they can be time-efficent, focusing on areas of clinical significance and anatomy relevant to practical procedures. It doesn't
presume prior knowledge of anatomy; an optional text enables exploration at all levels of difficulty".
Eight modules will eventually be available in An@tomedia - the head, neck, back, upper limb, lower limb, abdomen, pelvis and thorax. Dr Eizenberg says
that with the eight modules, An@tomedia will represent the complete Anatomy course - about 300 hours of intensive teaching.
However, he points out, Ms Barker spent a minimum on 20 hours on the dissection for each frame on the CD. "Medical students can't spend that amount of
time on dissection," he says.
According to Proffessor Briggs, the major market for An@tomedia is anatomy students worldwide, as well as for medical postgraduate and continuing education
study. Medical practitioners could also use the program as a tool to explain problems to patients.
An@tomedia can be complete course replacement, or it can be used as an add-on for practicals, tutorials and lectures in existing dissection programs. "Its
layer-by-layer approach offers the best alternative to dissection in courntries where dissection is not preformed for cultural or other reasons," he
And what do the users think of An@tomedia?
First year medical students have overwhelmingly endorsed it. They like the clinical relevance of the material, the clarity of the explanations and the
beauty of the images.
Chris Briggs reports that the greatest 'complaint' from students shown the first module was theat the other seven modules was the other seven modules were
not yet availbale.
An@tomedia is a cross-platorm program for use on Macintosh and PC. It was developed with support from the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs
Committee for University Teaching and Staff Development and a University Teaching and Learning (Multimedia and Education Technology) Committee grant.
2 August 1999
Interactive multimedia package seen as a benchmark achievement in teaching anatomy
UniNEWS, Vol. 13, No. 3, 8-22 March 2004, pp. 4-5
By Norm Eizenberg, Chris Briggs, Priscilla Barker and Ivica Grkovic
Radical changes in medical education, including a shift to more problem-based and independent learning, have seen interactive multimedia teaching play
a strategic and expanding role at the University of Melbourne. A highlight of the University’s successful integration of multimedia teaching and learning
in medical education is its development of An@tomedia, an internationally acclaimed teaching tool adopted (to date) by 10 other universities in Australia
and overseas. Recognition of An@tomedia as a benchmark achievement includes a recent ‘rave’ review from the President of the World Association of Medical
Editors writing in the international medical journal The Lancet. Behind An@tomedia is a multidisciplinary team led by four medical scientists who have
worked together for more than eight years to bring the concept to fruition. Dr Norm Eizenberg, Associate Professor Chris Briggs, Ms Priscilla Barker
and Dr Ivica Grkovic, based in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, outline here the vision and innovation that have helped drive and shape
An@tomedia as a teaching tool of the 21st century.
Development and integration of interactive multimedia teaching and learning into university curricula has accelerated rapidly over the past decade, bringing
with it a need for strategic decisions involving inevitably major investment and commitment of resources.
The dilemma faced by teaching staff in the University of Melbourne’s School of Medicine and its Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the mid 1990s
was no doubt one familiar to academics across a range of disciplines at many other universities – whether to buy ready-made products or to develop
especially tailored resources in-house.
The main reasons why Melbourne decided on the second option were the limited educational value and lack of interactivity of what was available at that
time. Additionally, our aim was to develop a fully comprehensive program covering all aspects of human anatomy (particularly an understanding of anatomical
concepts and principles) that could be applied in future clinical contexts.
We saw An@tomedia largely as a resource to transform rather than replace teaching – to be used as a learning material before, during or after lectures
and practical classes, but not as a curriculum. In particular, we saw it complementing rather than substituting for particular teaching methods, such
The initiation and progression of such an ambitious, long-term project arose out of the framework the University set up for the development of quality
learning materials. This provided stability coupled with encouragement at all levels. Also essential was a determined team effort and the collegial
support provided in Anatomy and Cell Biology and by the Department of Teaching, Learning and Research Support (TeLARS) and across the University generally.
An@tomedia, among many other initiatives, is thus seen as a tangible outcome of the vision the University has put forward for revolutionising learning.
The package is a self-learning resource which enables exploration at any level, rate, order and degree of detail. It consists of nine modules, each containing
approximately 20 hours of core educational activities (including key principles and applications) and 20 hours of advanced activities (including comprehensive
details) if desired. Currently available modules are General Anatomy, Thorax, Back and Abdomen. Planned modules, for which much work has already been
done, are Pelvis, Upper Limb, Lower Limb, Neck and Head.
Anyone can use An@tomedia. It enables exploration at any level of difficulty from the beginner to a specialist surgeon, including all medical and allied
health practitioners and students. The program is an appropriate self-learning resource for both discipline-based and problem-based courses, where
it can be used to provide an entire anatomy learning program or, preferably, be used in conjunction with existing learning programs as a resource for
practical classes, tutorials, lectures and self-directed learning. Layer-by-layer dissections offer an excellent alternative when users are unable
to perform actual dissections.
The name of the package is an acronym for ‘A New Approach to Medical Education: Developments in Anatomy’. The program contains interactive images (or movies)
complemented by text. Structures and regions in each image may be labelled and/or highlighted with colour overlays, enabling the user to focus on what
is critically important. The user is also engaged to integrate text with the images, through identifications and clinically oriented questions. Immediate
feedback is provided via rollover labels and pop-up windows with many explanatory diagrams.
An@tomedia combines the benefits of a photographic atlas of anatomy, overlaid with colour illustrations. Users can choose their desired combination of
overlays on serial dissections of real human bodies. Specific information may be easily accessed via the index or search engine and users can make
rapid comparisons within or between perspectives. For example, a stomach may be viewed on dissection or post mortem, laparoscopy, radiograph or gastroscopy
as well as compared with images of its structure, supply, position and relations.
Users benefit from multiple perspectives, incorporating all types of anatomy books and atlases, linked in one self-learning resource. The user can construct
a body via two theoretical perspectives (‘Regions’ and ‘Systems’) and deconstruct it via two practical perspectives (‘Dissection’ and ‘Imaging’).
The four perspectives appear on the main menu as four interlocking forearms, which also represent the principal authors, each of whom assumed responsibility
for the content of a perspective. Key input came also from an extensive group of consultants in related clinical specialties associated with the University.
Images were developed together with photographers, digital imagers and medical illustrators from Anatomy and Cell Biology, while software, interface
and graphics were developed by programmers and graphic designers from the University’s Courseware Development Services within TeLARS.
An@tomedia has been formally evaluated by medical students, anatomy tutors and international experts in anatomy, surgery and education with outstanding
results. The product has also been awarded ‘Best CD Project’ and ‘Best Paper’ at the ASCILITE (Australasian Society for Computers In Learning In Tertiary
Education) conference in 1999, and ‘Best General Multimedia’ at the ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media) awards in 2003.
Internationally also, An@tomedia is winning recognition. A recent review for The Lancet by Professor Ana Marusic began with the statement: “….An@tomedia
would have revolutionised my student days”. Other international reviewers have commented: “The best feature is the layered approach to dissection combined
with the superb quality of the images”; and “This is unquestionably the best CD ROM relating to gross anatomy that I have seen and I eagerly await
the development of new modules”.
Medical and health science students at Melbourne use the four completed modules in problem-based learning as well as in the traditional science anatomy
program. An@tomedia is also used by 10 other universities including McGill (Canada), Cape Town (South Africa) and King’s College London (UK).
When complete, An@tomedia will contain a total of 360 hours of learning activities and will have taken 100,000 hours of work to create. When the total
numbers of students who may use the program are taken into consideration, this is indeed an efficient use of resources. Furthermore, An@tomedia can
be revisited throughout the clinical years and subsequently in clinical practice or in postgraduate training programs. It provides a valuable life-long
learning resource for postgraduates and practitioners in continuing medical education, self-education and even patient education.
Vol. 13, No. 3, 8-22 March 2004
Not for the faint-hearted! Medical website lets you virtually dissect dead bodies
Squeezing the entire human body onto a 12-centimetre silver disc has given the biology courses at Melbourne University new depth.
The university's department of anatomy and cell biology has developed a CD-ROM called an@tomedia, which "takes apart" a virtual body and incorprates text
and learning resources for after-hours dissection by students.
The disc works on the Macintosh and PC platforms, and its developers expect it to reduce the need for real dissections and tutorial times in the revamped
medical course at Melbourne.
Eight "modules" are planned, covering the head, neck, back, upper and lower limbs, abdomen, pelvis and thorax.
Tuesday 3 August 1999
3LO Evening Show
Tuesday December 14, 1999, 7:00pm, Peter Clarke (3.89MB Streaming QT)
RRR Science Show
Sunday September 19, 1999, 11:00am, Andi Horva (4.03MB Streaming QT)
Get started today
Now complete with all Head (including brain) and Neck!