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CAM-HD Experience

Mission and Vision

The Complementary and Alternative Medicine Human Dissection Experience (CAM – HD Experience) strives to offer practitioners within the CAM professions the opportunity to revisit the essential science of human anatomy as it applies to their chosen field when it is most important to them: once they are working in the clinic.

The CAM – HD Experience recognizes the importance of the fasciae in the practice of CAM as well as the difference between a textbook and clinical knowledge of anatomy.  Students are guided through their dissections starting with an intact cadaver so that they may appreciate the anatomy in all its facets from topography to osteology, including the fasciae.


For more information please contact Craig Harness MSc, PhD(c), DO at: or 905-449-2104

Botterell Hall, Stuart St

Queen’s University

Kingston, Ontario

Canada K7L 3N6


The Complementary and Alternative Medicine Human Dissection Experience (CAM – HD Experience) is proud to announce new courses have been scheduled for 2020! After much anticipation, the prosection series has returned. Join us on February 22 and 23, 2020 for “The Anatomy of the Subjective and Objective Clinical Assessment with a Focus on Low Back Pain Syndrome”. This course offers an exhaustive account of the anatomy of the low back and pelvic girdle as applied to clinical practice. Space is limited to 25 participants. 15 total hours for CEUs.

This year’s Dissection Experience has also been scheduled and will take place June 8 – 14, 2020. This unique course continues to offer practitioners within the Complementary and Alternative Medicine professions the opportunity to dissect a fully intact soft embalmed human cadaver in groups of 5. Space is limited to 15 participants. 70 total hours for CEUs.

Please contact Craig Harness MSc, PhD(c), DO(Q) at for inquiries.


The CAM – HD Experience strives to create a lasting educational experience by supplying an immersive interactive environment ensuring it is emergent enough never to be experienced in the same way twice.

Starting at the Spring 2014 edition of the CAM – HD Experience, the use of soft embalmed cadavers was introduced. This method of specimen preservation ensures the textures and colours of the specimen are maintained as well as joint range of motion. Most importantly it allows for a much better appreciation of the fascial planes as they are dissected.

The CAM – HD Experience is an open curriculum based dissection course. Dissection curricula are created by each group and practitioners are urged to take an active role in the dissection planning. With appropriate planning and approval each team has the potential to create a dissection of their choosing with full support of the faculty during development. A pictorial synopsis of the Experience is created incorporating all of the specimens, with a digital copy being given to each participant.   

A maximum of 15 students are permitted in the Spring 2020 edition of the CAM – HD Experience. Groups of 5 students will dissect a fully intact soft embalmed human cadaver. With faculty approval, interested practitioners forming a group of 5 may enter the experience as a team. For details please contact Craig Harness MSc, DO(Q) at

Spring Dissection Course 2020 brochure

Prosected specimens are dissected by the skilled prosectors at Queen’s University for the purpose of anatomical education at the university. The prosection experience consists of 2 days of full integration into the William James Henderson Anatomy Learning Centre with all its facets: wet and dry anatomical specimens, sectional material, histologic images, models, and audio / visual equipment.

The purpose of the prosection experience is to orientate students within a strategically organized Learning Centre supported by a combination of didactic lectures and guided practicums. The prosection series of courses have covered numerous topics including the fascia, the upper and lower limbs, the trunk, the viscera, and the head and neck. The current course offering is on the Anatomy of low back pain syndrome. Interested participants may also inquire into a variety of anatomical topics for the focus of a prosection course. Please contact Craig Harness MSc, PhD(c), DO at for more information.

The schedule of “early-bird” pricing is determined at the time when the prosection experiences are scheduled. These are posted in the individual course brochure. The next scheduled prosection course is on February 22 - 23, 2020 titled "The Anatomy of the Subjective and Objective Clinical Assessment with a Focus on Low Back Pain Syndrome". This course offers an exhaustive account of the anatomy of the low back and pelvic girdle as applied to clinical practice. Space is limited to 25 participants. 15 total hours for CEUs. 

Prosection Course Feb 22-23 2020 Queens University.


The doors of The New Medical Building opened in September 2011 after much anticipation.  Since then it has been operating as one of the premier places in Canada to learn the medical sciences.  Participants of the CAM – HD Experience take full advantage of the William James Henderson Anatomy Learning Centre with all its facets.

This facility houses a full spectrum of both wet and dry anatomical material, plastinated specimens, models, and state of the art audio / visual equipment.  The main dissection lab is fully integrated with downdraft ventilation for the comfort of the dissectors.  There is even some natural sunlight that enters via a connection to the main foyer of the building!

The anatomy museum contains hundreds of encased wet anatomical specimens spanning the entire body and is considered to be the best in Canada.  The versatility of this new space comes with the ability to organize and reorganize it with ease so that the entire spectrum of learning materials can be used in combination, simultaneously.

Participants are urged to bring a combination or keyed lock to take advantage of the storage facilities provided.  Please note that no outside material is permitted in either the main dissection laboratory or anatomy museum.

For more pictures and information about this magnificent place to learn human anatomy please visit the official website of the building



Craig Harness MSc, PhD(c), RMT, DO(Q)

Craig Harness is a Lecturer of Anatomy at Queen’s University with an extensive background in the fields of both Anatomy and Osteopathy.  He has attained diplomas in Massage Therapy (Fleming College), Somatotherapy, Fascial Therapy, Cranial Therapy, and Osteopathy (all from Académie Sutherland d’Ostéopathie du Québec), a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Sciences (Athabasca University), and a Master of Science degree in Anatomy & Cell Biology (Queen’s University) where he focused on professional anatomy education for members of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine streams.  Currently, Craig is in the final stages of completing his PhD degree within the Experimental Medicine field of specialization (Queen’s University), focusing on how human dissection can affect clinical efficacy of practitioners of physical manipulation.  Since 2013, Craig has gained experience teaching anatomy at the community college and university levels.  He has also taught various osteopathic courses during the same time at the private vocational institute level.

Kevin Fairfield B.A, BHSc PT, FCAMT, IFOMPT, CAFCI, DO(Q)

Kevin Fairfield completed his undergraduate and post-graduate degrees at McMaster University receiving his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Health Science in Physiotherapy degrees between the years of 1991 to 1999.  Kevin has been working in private practice for more than 20 years owning and operating three successful sports injury and rehabilitation clinics.  During this time, Kevin became a certified acupuncture practitioner (CAFCI) and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy and International Federation of Manipulative Physiotherapists (FCAMPT, IFOMPT).  Most recently, Kevin became an Osteopathic practitioner DO(Q) obtaining his diploma from Académie Sutherland d’Ostéopathie du Québec

For a complete biography, please visit

John D’Aguanno DO(Q), RMT, SMT©

John D’Aguanno is an accomplished and experienced manual therapist with more than 30 years of clinical and teaching experience.  He has obtained diplomas in Massage Therapy (Kikkawa College) and Somatotherapy, Fascial Therapy, Cranial Therapy, and Osteopathy (all from Académie Sutherland d’Ostéopathie du Québec).  John also has extensive post-graduate training in manipulative therapy including education series with Vladimar Janda MD, DSc and Karel Lewit MD, DSc.  A consummate learner, John continues to advance his knowledge and skill set in the discipline of traditional Osteopathy while consulting and operating a clinic in mid-town Toronto.

Shiraz Elkheir MD, MBBS, Msc, CMD

Shiraz Elkheir has a broad background in Anatomy, Medical Education and Surgery. He has completed two Master of Science degrees in Human Anatomy (University of Khartoum) and Anatomy & Cell Biology (Queen’s University). He obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) and Clinical Medical Doctorate – General Surgery (CMD) both from the University of Khartoum. Shiraz completed his Canadian training in General Surgery (McMaster University) and is currently practicing General Surgery in Fort Frances, Ontario.

Dissection Course - Full tuition for the course is $4000 CAD.  Returning students of the CAM – HD Experience dissection course receive 10% off

Prosection Course - Full tuition is $750.  Returning CAM – HD Experience students receive 10% discount.  Early bird registration dates vary per course and represents a 10% discount.

"Anyone involved in healthcare would find this course of significant benefit for understanding the body."

"There has been no greater resource for my conceptualization of anatomy"  

"The best educational course and amazing quality of instruction I have ever taken/had.  I hope to be able to take part in many more to come" 

"Excellent course - highly recommend it." 

"Doing the class for a second time gave me an even better appreciation of the dissection work.  I can immediately after the course see the improvement in my osteo practice."

"Dissection material was excellent!!! Gave a much truer feel for what real tissues are like and fascia easier to dissect."

"I learned a tremendous amount through the dissection and especially from everyone in attendance.  I will see you next year!"

"This learning opportunity is unparalleled."

"The socials really helped find out more about people you didn't group up with."

"This was by far one of the greatest educational experiences of my life.  I plan on attending every year it's offered and will encourage people whom I know would benefit from this course to also make an effort to attend.  I want to thank Craig for making this possible in the highest quality environment with the phenomenal instruction that he achieved and to thank Shiraz for taking the time to provide us with his knowledge and expertise.  I can't say enough to communicate how thrilled I am to be a part of this..."

What is the total length of the dissection course?

The dissection course is 70 lab hours.

What is the total length of the prosection course?

The prosection course is 15 lab hours.   

How do I implement the content into my practice?

Every student will implement the Experience into their practice differently.  Some students report an increased awareness in their palpation skills while others have reported an increased ability to think in relational anatomy i.e. what other structure could a symptom be coming from based on the anatomic relationship?

Interaction with fellow colleagues as well as with the faculty, who are also active practitioners, allows each student to implement their renewed anatomical appreciation in a unique way.

What is the cost of the Dissection course?

Full tuition for the course is $4000 CAD.  Returning students of the CAM – HD Experience dissection course receive 10% off. 

What is the cost of the Prosection course?

Full tuition is $750.  Returning CAM – HD Experience students receive 10% discount.  Early bird registration dates vary per course and represents a 10% discount.

Can I combine a returning student discount with an ‘Early bird’ discount?

No.  These discounts cannot be combined.

Will I get a reference manual?

Yes – a digital manual is created from the students dissections during the dissection Experience.  Students are also granted access to the Scalable Gross Anatomy and Histology Catalogue, a Queen’s University digital reference.  Hard copy notes are supplied to all participants at the prosection Experiences.

How do I get to Kingston?

You can get to Kingston via trains, planes and automobiles.  VIA Rail offers service to Kingston, various airlines offer service to the Norman Rogers airport in Kingston and Highway 401 is immediately North of the city.

How do I prepare for the Dissection course?

Since all the participants partaking in the CAM – HD Experience are practicing professionals, a certain level of background is assumed. The first part of the curriculum is topography and palpation, followed by the removal of skin and superficial fascia layers.  Once the specimen has been denuded of these layers the open curriculum part of the course begins.

In terms of personal preparation the most important preparation for the CAM – HD Experience is an open mind to create a dissection process that will allow each student to appreciate various aspects of human anatomy as they apply to clinical treatment within the CAM professions.  In other words try to think of how you can dissect the various structures you are especially interested in.  The faculty of the CAM – HD Experience are more than willing to assist you in this process.  Do not hesitate to contact us via email with your questions.

I have never dissected before, is that a problem?

Absolutely not. All of the skills needed to safely complete the dissection are developed during the first part of the course.  The faculty is always more than willing to assist you in completing more technically challenging dissections.

How do I prepare for a Prosection Course?

There can be various strategies such as:

- Regional anatomy of the parts concerned

- Use a case study from your practice to do an exhaustive anatomical breakdown of the parts involved

- Basic histology of the tissues in the region

- Study sectional anatomy of the region

Ultimately prepare to come in with an open mind to create connections between what you do clinically with living anatomy and what can be seen in the anatomical laboratory.  Do not hesitate to contact us via email with your questions. 

Do I get a receipt that I can use for continuing education?

The CAM – HD Experience provides you proof of both payment and attendance at a 70 hour human anatomy dissection course, or a 15 hour human anatomy prosection course, as applicable.  Please check with your professional organization for guidance. 

Is financial aid available?

There is no direct financial aid available.  There is potential, depending on the type of practitioner as well as their location, to apply for the “Allied Health Professions Development Fund”.  For more information and how to apply for this funding please consult  Determining eligibility as well as applying for this fund is the responsibility of the student.

Does the lab smell?

Definitely not in the way many practitioners remember their undergraduate anatomy lab.  The main dissection lab is extraordinarily ventilated as is each dissection table.  The specimens used by the CAM – HD Experience are soft embalmed which uses almost no formaldehyde, the chemical which produces that stereotypical “anatomy lab smell”.  Prosection courses do utilize formalin fixed specimens, but smells are minimized with the downdraft equipped tables.

Can I choose a male or female cadaver?

There is no guarantee of the sex of the specimen.  That being said, we will do our best to accommodate your preference.

What is a soft embalmed cadaver?

Formalin fixed cadavers have been used in medical education for more than a century with the advantage of being totally fixed and extremely resistant to deterioration.  The downside is all of the connective tissues become bound down and together, the joints become almost immobile, the glandular organs become rigid, and the brain becomes equally solid.  Our soft embalming solution uses only trace amounts of formaldehyde which allows the connective tissues to remain very liquid, the joints retain their natural range of motion, and the organs and brain to remain supple.  Soft embalmed cadavers resemble fresh tissue as closely as possible while maintaining the advantages of chemically treating the body.

Don’t see your question here?

Please feel free to contact us as with any questions you may have.