Talarico Protocol That Focuses on the ‘First Patient’ Goes Global!

260215_102317189863539_1367272_nThe “Talarico Protocol for Human Gross Anatomy” was established 18 years ago as part of the International Human Cadaver Prosection Program at the Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest.  Ernest Talarico, Jr., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology, observed that students of medicine and allied health had lost focus – concentrating on books, numbers and symptoms – instead of the “total patient”.  His unique approach breaks from tradition and puts students in intimate contact with the families of those “first patients” that they are dissecting in the anatomy laboratory, thereby returning the patient to the focus of medicine early in the education program.  Students not only learn anatomical structures, but also learn empathy, compassion, professionalism and communication skills that will make them great healthcare providers, and they maintain bonds with families of anatomical donors that grow throughout and beyond the medical school years.  These bonds extend far into their careers effecting favorable patient outcomes and relationships.  Recently, Talarico and collaborators published the book, Commemorations, and Memorials – Exploring the Human Face of Anatomy.  This book, the first of its kind, examines the emerging phenomena of relationships with the “first patient.”  Talarico’s philosophy and teaching methods are being duplicated at medical schools in other countries.

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