May 19, 2011

3-D Movies: Teaching Surgical Techniques

CAMA Member News

3-D movies weren't always relegated to summer blockbusters at the local multiplex. They also served as important teaching tools for surgeons.

The Archives of the American College of Surgeons website recently featured a story titled "3-D Movies at the Clinical Congress" as their Highlight of the Month.

The American College of Surgeons annual Clinical Congress provides surgeons with an opportunity to observe surgical techniques in action. The drawback, historically, was the number of people who could comfortably observe the surgeries.

In 1929, films of surgeries at the Clinical Congress helped expose more people to new techniques. One of these films was even a "talkie!" By the late 1940s, attendees of the Clinical Congress could watch surgeries live via closed-circuit television. Soon afterward, they were televised in color, providing viewers with an even more "real" experience.

How could these teaching opportunities become even more real? Why, by using 3-D technology! While many people envision 1950s 3-D movies as strictly monster movie affairs, the Clinical Congress was using the same technology to impart surgical knowledge as early as 1951.

The Archives of the American College of Surgeons website features digital collections, collection highlights, and other wonderful resources. Take a moment to explore!

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