On Tuesday, June 16, the International Human Cadaver Prosection Program at the Indiana University School of Medicine - Northwest (IUSM-NW) formally announced the members of this year’s volunteer prosection team. Selected from among the more than 100 applicants this year were medical students, undergraduates, doctors, military officers, and educators. The participants will gather at the IU Northwest campus on Aug. 5 and 6 for a two-day, hands-on anatomy workshop in which they will prepare six anatomical donors for the medical school’s upcoming gross anatomy classes.
Twenty-seven of the 41 prosectors are from Northwest Indiana or the Chicagoland area, and three others are from downstate Indiana. The remaining 11 volunteers hail from Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and Vancouver, B.C. While a majority of the participants are students, 10 are professionals whose work relates to the medical field.
”Four of our prosectors this year are medical doctors,” said program director Ernest Talarico, Jr., Ph.D., who is the assistant director of medical education and course director of human gross anatomy and embryology at IUSM-NW. ”Three are local practitioners and the fourth is an anatomy instructor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. We also have five medical students working with us this year. We have a lecturer from the Biological Sciences Department at Purdue University Calumet, and we have two managers from the Body Donation Program at the University of British Columbia. And this is the second year that we have had a forensic anthropologist joining us from the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C.”
”Our professional prosection volunteers bring a lot of medical knowledge and anatomical experience to this year’s program, and that will benefit our student volunteers and, ultimately, our own gross anatomy students,” Talarico said.
There are 14 colleges and universities represented among this year’s participants. In addition to IUSM-NW, the University of British Columbia and the University of Massachusetts, they include: IU Northwest; IU Bloomington; Purdue Calumet; Indiana State University; Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine; McHenry County College; the University of Central Florida; NOVA Southeastern University; St. Louis University; and Luther College in Iowa.
Northwest Indiana participants in the 2009 International Human Cadaver Prosection Program include:
Ryan J. Longfellow, Purdue University Calumet biology/pre-med student, of Cedar Lake; Dr. Anthony Levenda, M.D., Lakeshore Bone and Joint Institute, of Chesterton; Islam A. Baghdady, IU Northwest chemistry student, of Crown Point; Sondra A. Tokarz, IU Northwest radiology student, of Crown Point; Siddarth S. Bangar, IU Northwest biology student, of Dyer; Daniel A. Pop, Purdue University Calumet chemistry/biology student, of Highland; Cheryl Garwick, Prompt Ambulance Service, of Highland; Kelly Steger, Prompt Ambulance Service, of Highland; John J. Harris, IUSM-NW 2nd-year medical student, of Hobart; Dr. Joseph F. Schwartz, M.D., Bone and Joint Specialists, P.C., of Merrillville; Dr. Kenneth J. Ham, M.D., Bone and Joint Specialists, P.C., of Merrillville; Michael S, Sandridge, IU Northwest biology student, of Merrillville; Eric J. Goldenberg, IUSM-NW 2nd-year student, of Munster; Rohini Chatterjee, IU Northwest chemistry and Spanish student, of Munster; Terry C. Easton, IUSM-NW 2nd-year medical student, of Ogden Dunes; Jeremiah J. Cox, IU Northwest chemistry/pre-med student, of Portage; Nancy R. O’Keefe, Purdue University Calumet Biological Sciences lecturer, of Schererville; Brian D. Van Asdall, IU Northwest biology student, of Schererville; Daniel G. Grabarek, IU Northwest graduate, of Schererville; Farheen S. Sultana, IU Northwest psychology/pre-med student, of Schererville; Robert D. Hattabaugh, pre-med and U.S. Army/ROTC student at Purdue University Calumet, of Valparaiso; Asad, J. Torabi, IU Northwest psychology/chemistry/biology/pre-med student, of Valparaiso; and Steven Joyce, Valparaiso University meteorology graduate, of Chesterton.
Other Indiana participants include: Jarod C. Markley, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology biomedical engineering student, of Richmond; Luke J. Blake, Indiana State University exercise student, of Rosedale; and Emily Krodel, IUSM-NW fourth-year medical student, of Jasper.
Illinois participants include:
Eliot A. Delunas, IU Bloomington chemistry student, of Chicago; Brad A. Clark, Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine student, of Downers Grove; Megan J. Parker, McHenry County College nursing student, of Huntley; and Joseph N. Garcher, McHenry County College medical imaging student, of Woodstock.
Iowa participants include:
Erik V. Mortens, Luther College biology/pre-med student.
Florida participants include:
Sachin R. Patel, NOVA Southeastern University biology/pre-med student, of Coral Springs; Andrew A. Glickman, NOVA Southeastern University biology student, of Davie; Jessica S. Sabau, NOVA Southeastern University biology student, of Miramar; Ryan A. Vesny, University of Central Florida microbiology student, of Pembroke Pines; and Aisha Syed, NOVA Southeastern University biology/pre-dental student, of Pembroke Pines.
Massachusetts participants include:
Dr. Krista S. Johansen, M.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School anatomy instructor, of Worcester.
Ohio participants include:
Capt. Dennis J. Reichman, USAF, St. Louis University pre-med student, of Dayton.
Washington D.C., participants include:
Emily K. Wilson, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington, D.C.
British Columbia participants include:
Emma Mogerman, University of British Columbia Body Donations tech manager, of Vancouver; and Jennifer S. Fraser, University of British Columbia Body Donations co-manager, of Vancouver.
This is the 10th anniversary of the Human Cadaver Prosection Program at IUSM-NW, and each year has brought some new element or innovation to the program. In 2008, Talarico and his prosectors teamed with undergraduate radiography students at IU Northwest, on whose campus the medical school is located, to take full-body x-rays of the anatomical donors. Medical students, undergraduate pre-med students and radiography students worked together to take images of the donors that prosectors (and medical students) could later use as guides to their dissection. It was the first known example of a medical school teaming with an undergraduate radiography program to x-ray human cadavers in support of the prosection process.
This year, Talarico and IU Northwest Clinical Associate Professor of Radiography Robin Jones will expand these imaging efforts, with the support and cooperation of Merrillville, Ind.-based Methodist Hospitals Imaging Services. Not only will radiography students, with the assistance of prosectors, take x-rays and, this year, ultrasounds of donors at the IU Northwest College of Health and Human Services’ own x-ray lab, but they will also transport the anatomical donors to the Methodist Hospitals – Southlake for advanced CT and MRI imaging. Students will observe as the hospital’s technologists acquire the images, learning basic skills and interpretive techniques in the process.
“We are excited and most grateful to Methodist Hospitals for their willingness to contribute their time and expertise to the prosection program,” Talarico said. ”Last year’s imaging gave us some very important information about our donors that proved useful to the work of both our prosectors and medical students, as well as student radiographers. I am confident that these additional procedures will yield even greater medical knowledge about each of this year’s donors.”
“I am also hopeful that our education development grant application to the IUSM Office of Medical Education and Curricular Affairs will be awarded in July, so that we can further develop this novel program, setting a model that can be utilized by other medical schools and universities,” he added.
Jones said the images produced through this exercise, including three-dimensional CT images, should also provide added value to students in IU Northwest¹s radiologic science B.S. program.
”It’s 3-D. It’s learning anatomy in three planes,” said Jones, who is also the clinical coordinator of radiography at IU Northwest. ”It’s a lot more advanced than what we did in our lab last year.”
Because it’s the first time such advanced imaging has been attempted on human cadavers, Jones said, the quality of the images cannot be predicted. Some anatomical structures, such as blood vessels, will not be visible, since it’s not possible to highlight them with dye as is done with living patients, she said.
”I feel confident that some of the anatomy is still going to be very well visualized, so that our students will still be able to use the images to learn some basic anatomy,” she said. ”We’ll find out in July.”
Talarico emphasized teamwork as another valuable result of these prosection imaging techniques. Future doctors, future radiography technicians and other future healthcare workers learn to understand and respect each other’s roles and responsibilities in patient care, he explained.
“Medicine is a team-based approach,” Talarico said. “This lets them know what their key counterparts do and the importance of their roles in patient care. It facilitates learning, not only in anatomy but also in radiography, from different perspectives. They are actually teaching each other, and they have to go through problem-solving as a team in order to get the film that they want, and then to be able to interpret what’s there.”
Unlike most medical schools, IUSM-NW does obtain the names of its anatomical donors. This is done out of a sense of respect for the people who made the decision to donate their bodies to medical education, Talarico said. In many cases, he and his student are able to communicate with the donors’ families to obtain additional health information that aids his gross anatomy students in their study of the donors’ anatomies.
The International Human Cadaver Prosection Program offers college students, healthcare workers and even non-healthcare professionals who have an interest in anatomy the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in gross anatomy while helping to prepare anatomical donors for anatomy classes at IUSM-NW. This year, in addition medical imaging in July, the hands-on prosection portion of the program will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 5, and Thursday, Aug. 6, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on both days, and will includea a prosthetics seminar/workshop by Rocco Prosthetics & Orthotic Center, and a Total Knee Arthroplasty Workshop by Warsaw, Ind.-based Zimmer, Inc.
Prosectors also will put in two evenings of preparatory work on Tuesday, June 16, and Tuesday, June 23. Some prosectors may assist with the receipt and preparation of the donors when they are delivered to the medical school on Wednesday, July 15.
Participants who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion and certification for work with biohazards and blood-borne pathogens. Two top prosectors will receive awards, and two others will receive special recognition.
In addition to Methodist Hospitals, sponsors or supporters of the 2009 International Human Cadaver Prosection Program at IUSM-NW include: Rick Rocco of Rocco Prosthetics & Orthotic Center (grant sponsor, Cincinnati, Ohio); Gino Joseph of Mortech Manufacturing, Inc. (grant sponsor, Azusa, Calif.) and Integrated Spine (Valparaiso, Ind.), a distributor of NuVasive, Inc. Additional gifts and items are provided by: Anthony Levenda, M.D., LakeShore Bone & Joint Institute; Joseph Schwartz, M.D., and Kenneth Ham, M.D., Bone & Joint Specialists; Dennis Han, M .D., Bone & Joint Specialists; Amy W. Han, Ph.D., IUSM-NW; Douglas Conroy, DPT, Conroy Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy; Joel Vilensky, Ph.D. IUSM- Fort Wayne; Brian F. Spatola (Anatomical Collections Manager, National Museum of Health and Medicine); the American Association of Anatomists; Community Hospital; Peoples Bank; Fisher Scientific (Lazette Saunders); LabConco (Curt Willard); VWR (Ken Carney); Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; Elsevier, Thieme Publishers; Zimmer, Inc.; and the IU Northwest Bookstore.