A human dissection training program at indiana university school of medicine-northwest

Ernest F. Talarico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


As human cadavers are widely used in basic sciences, medical education, and other training and research venues, there is a real need for experts trained in anatomy and dissection. This article describes a program that gives individuals interested in clinical and basic sciences practical experience working with cadavers. Participants are selected through an open application process and attend sessions focused on anatomical terminology, gross anatomy and radiography, and some of the educational applications of human cadavers. Dissection skills are honed during an intensive, two-day cadaver dissection and orthopedic workshop. Participants communicate the knowledge they gain through table-side discussions, reflect upon the experience during a memorial service, and submit written program evaluations. Additionally the dissection and preparation of cadaveric materials accomplished in this course are used in the medical school gross anatomy course during the next academic year. From 2004 through 2008, the annual number of applicants increased from 40 to 167, and the number of participants increased from 25 to 43 per year. Program participants have represented diverse ethnic, educational, and professional backgrounds. Feedback from participants has been remarkably positive, including comments on the large amount of learning that takes place during the sessions, the positive impact the program has had on career choice, and the desire for program expansion. This program, which could be replicated at other institutions, teaches anatomy, prepares cadaveric prosections for teaching and training others, and encourages participants to pursue careers in anatomical and biomedical sciences. Anat Sci Educ 3:77-82, 2010.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Dissection
  • Faculty development
  • Gross anatomy
  • Human cadaver
  • Prosection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Embryology

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