GARY | An annual summer program that gives participants hands-on experience studying cadavers starts Friday with two days of medical imaging.
The International Human Cadaver Prosection Program is a workshop on the Indiana University Northwest campus of the Indiana University School of Medicine.
The program allows nonphysician and nonmedical student volunteers to participate in a medical lab by preparing anatomical donors for the incoming gross anatomy class, according to the university.
The prosection sessions will take place July 31 through Aug. 2.
On Friday, faculty, students and program participants will take X-ray and ultrasound images of six body donors and four fetuses. It will help participants get a better idea of what is inside the anatomical donors.
Among the group are Roberto Sanchez Sanz and Fernando Garcia Prieto, medical students from Spain.
This is the third year Spanish students have participated in the prosection program, said Ernest Talarico Jr., program director, associate director of medical education, associate professor of anatomy and cell biology and course director of human gross anatomy and embryology on the Gary campus.
Roberto, 19, and Fernando, 21, arrived last week. During their monthlong visit, most of their time will be spent shadowing doctors at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart.
"It is a good experience that many students of medicine dream of in Spain," Fernando said.
"Who doesn't dream of coming to the States?" Roberto said.
The men have studied cadavers at Universidad Europea de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, but they never participated in medical imaging on a cadaver, they said.
On Thursday, Talarico asked the men whether they had ever studied a fetus, because an 18-week-old fetus is among the donors.
Although it will be difficult, they understand it is part of the learning experience.
Fernando said he understands it must be incredibly difficult for a parent to donate a fetus.
Roberto said it is important to have full respect for the donor, to have feelings but not let them interfere with the learning process.
"I don't want you to be nervous, anxious, upset," Talarico told them. "I have people call every day to donate their body. They did this for you, to learn the most you can."
Talarico also said it is OK to step out of the room if it becomes overwhelming.
"There's no shame in doing that," he said.