Photograph by Andrew H. Walker — Getty Images
By Barb Darrow
September 21, 2015

It’s no surprise that YouTube is a hugely helpful resource. People have turned to the trove of home-made videos to watch everything from the ridiculous-but-fun (jumpy cats) to the highly practical: (How to tie a bowtie.)

Now one of the top medical schools in the country is using YouTube to teach would-be doctors who are less inclined than their predecessors to pore through text books.

Coursework at Boston’s Harvard Medical School has been revamped for the Google(GOOG) generation, with more short videos and less rote in-class learning, according to the Boston Globe.

This makes a whole lot of sense even to some baby boomers. What better way to teach a procedure than to let students watch it, perhaps over and over again? Students found YouTube videos to be “irreplaceable for demonstrating skills like how to tie a surgical knot or draw the brachial plexus, a network of nerves stemming from the spine,” according to the Globe.

And as part of this revamp of the curriculum, HMS professor Dr. Richard Schwartzstein created his own videos for students. The idea is for the students to watch the videos on their own time and come to class prepared to discuss or question what they learned.

Internet search giant Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006. In May, a Bank of America analyst estimated YouTube, with its 1 billion users, was worth $70 billion to its parent company. As of late last year, 300 hours of video were uploaded to the service every minute.

Now, among all those cat videos, medical students can learn the finer points of anatomy and how to stitch up a patient, perhaps.

For a look at YouTube’s 10th anniversary please check out the video.

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