IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary Announces Return Of Cadaver Prosection Program

Bernie Tafoya
September 10, 2018 - 12:18 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A medical school in northwest Indiana plans to offer non-medical students a chance to work and learn more about human cadavers next summer. 

The Indiana University School of Medicine–Northwest–Gary has announced the return of the International Human Cadaver Prosection Program for the summer of 2019.

The program returns after being offered in 2017 and taking a year off. It took a hiatus in order to examine ways to reshape its curriculum.

The human cadaver prosection program is "an innovative, hands-on medical program that allows non-physician and non-medical student participants the opportunity to become active volunteers in the IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary gross anatomy laboratory, which examines the structure of organs and tissues," according to the university.

The program involves having participants not only prepare donated human bodies for research and education, but allow the participants a chance to deal with the donors’ families. Participants are taught that the cadavers are to be treated as real patients, with dignity.

The program allows students the opportunity to gain detailed knowledge of human anatomy, medical imaging, and wound suturing, as well as a greater understanding of tissue histology, embryology, prosthetics, orthotics, and orthopedics medical specialties.

With the new curriculum, participants will take part in five full days of cadaver prosection, more didactic and online sessions, and deeper exploration into the human body’s structures and systems, according to Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology Ernest Talarico, PhD, the program’s director and creator.

“The prosection program is internationally recognized for its practice of reaching out to cadaver donors’ families and establishing a relationship with them. The interaction between the grateful students for their learning and the families of the donors is inspiring,” said Carl Marfurt, PhD, interim associate dean and director of IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary. “Just as impressive, though, is how Dr. Talarico and his team continue to raise the bar with regard to the rigorous academic preparation the program provides for aspiring health professionals.”

The 2019 program will take place on IU Northwest’s campus in Gary with biweekly sessions beginning May 28 and concluding with two weeks of workshops and cadaver prosection through Aug.2.

Applications will be available on the IU School of Medicine website beginning Nov. 26 and will close March 22, 2019.

At the conclusion of the program, there’ll be a Service of Remembrance which will be attended by donor families, in which the program participants honor their “first patients” and express their gratitude for their loved ones’ incredible gift.