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IUSM-NW-G professor teaches students in Vietnam


Ernest Talarico invited to bring U.S. methods in anatomy to students abroad

Monday Apr 10, 2017


Ernest Talarico, Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of anatomy and cell biology, and director of the International Human Cadaver Prosection Program at IU School of Medicine – Northwest – Gary (IUSM-NW-G), recently returned from a two-week trip to Vietnam, where he delivered presentations and lectures to medical students.

Talarico is internationally known for the Talarico Protocol, the “first patient” philosophy he pioneered as part of the International Human Cadaver Prosection Program (IHCPP) at IUSM-NW-G, a summer program in which volunteers learn about anatomy by preparing human cadavers for first-year medical students.

Last summer, several students from Vietnam participated in the program, prompting an invitation from Nach Nguyen, M.D., director of cardiology at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, and founding dean and provost of Tan Tao University (TTU) School of Medicine in Vietnam.

Talarico is one of several faculty members from the U.S. teaching short courses in basic sciences at TTU throughout the current academic year. Over the course of his trip, Talarico taught anatomy to first- and second-year medical students and the problem-based learning (PBL) approach to third-year students. He delivered a nationally televised address at the schools' White Coat Ceremony, a symbolic transition that Vietnamese medical students take into the medical profession after a six-year journey. During the ceremony, Talarico was thanked for his support and work with Vietnamese medical students, and was appointed a visiting professor at TTU by Nguyen.

Talarico was also an honored guest and speaker at the school’s Maccabee Ceremony. This is similar to the services of remembrance that the IHCPP conducts with students and families of the cadaver donors.  Here, Talarico joined Nguyen and Le Van Cuong, Ph.D. and M.D., surgery, in prayer and offerings at an altar within the anatomy laboratory at Tan Tao General Hospital.

In front of an audience of faculty members and researchers, Talarico discussed his “first patient” philosophy, new technologies in the study of anatomy and new ways of preserving cadavers, and medical imaging-based research that arose from the IHCPP.  Talarico also discussed public health issues with the director of public health, World Health Organization, Vietnam, and toured preparation and storage facilities at the Ho Chi Minh School of Medicine and Pharmacy, giving expert consultation for revision and improvements in acquisition and maintenance of anatomical donors.

During his lessons about problem-based learning at Tam Duc Hospital, Talarico discussed a PBL case about infectious disease (written with former IU Northwest student Brandon Karcher) and worked with students to gather data to be included in an upcoming published study.

Ernest Talarico touring Vietnamese lab

Photo provided

Talarico tours the anatomical education facilities at the Ho Chi Minh University School of Medicine and Pharmacy.

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