Dr. Ernest F. Talarico Jr., Associate Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, USA, Visited Tan Tao University.

From February 24 to March 8, Tan Tao University (TTU) welcomed the visit of Dr. Ernest F. Talarico Jr., Associate Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, USA, and Visiting Professor at TTU School of Medicine, Long An, Vietnam.

It was on the last Sunday of February, February 24, that Tan Tao University celebrated its White Coat Ceremony for first-year medical students and the Maccabees to express the deepest gratitude from medical faculty and students towards those who donated their bodies for medical teaching and research. At the ceremony, Dr. Talarico gave a speech on the significance of the Maccabees, specifically the meaning of body donation. The ceremony marked the start of his busy two-week work – with onsite visits to facilities, and interviews with students and faculty – in Vietnam to access and understand the current issues facing TTU and to suggest ways to improve the quality of educational programs, laboratories and facilities.

Dr. Talarico and TTU students are engaged in learning brain anatomy in the American Way through peer teaching and small group presentations using medical English.

During his visit, Dr. Talarico taught anatomy to the first-year medical students in the anatomy laboratories and held problem based learning (PBL) sessions for 3rd-year students at Tam Duc Hospital. He also presented a continuing medical education workshop focused on testicular cancer and attended two learning sessions of the student organized PBL Club at the Library of Polytechnique University.

During a Problem-Based-Learning session, medical students discuss clinical (i.e., patient) cases written by Dr. Talarico
During a Problem-Based-Learning session, student Nguyen Tri Si learns how to use the stethoscope to auscultate heart and lung sounds.
Truyen TTT Tai moderated a session at the student organized PBL Club at the Library of Polytechnique University.

Even further, Dr. Talarico actively participated in two Tan Tao University recruitment events. About a hundred high school students from Duc Hoa district came to the open house at our TTU Long An campus. They were excited to listen to the university’s faculty counseling on job orientation. Here, Dr. Talarico shared his knowledge on How to Study Medicine in the American Way.

Another crucial part of the visit was his formal evaluation of the biology laboratories, and research facilities. In addition, he examined the curriculum of the six departments of basic sciences of the School of Medicine through interviews with faculty and students, and through feedback sessions and discussions with students and faculty of the School of Medicine, School of Biotechnology, School of Engineering, School of Humanities & Languages, and School of Economics and Business Administration.

Here, in the TTU Center for Biotechnology, students and faculty meet with Dr. Talarico to discuss their research projects and concerns.

Dr. Talarico also provided an extensive, survey document for all students and faculty to provide anonymous feedback and suggestions for change. Dr. Talarico’s visit, observations and meetings added support to the fact that TTU students feel that they are part of the TTU Team and are happy to express their opinions and concerns when they have seen professors, faculty members, and the Executive Board constantly striving for improvement so that the best possible education and opportunities are available to TTU students.

Now back in the United States, Dr. Talarico has composed “2019 Assessment Report of Tan Tao University: A Brief Letter to Students” that discussed the details about his visit to, and expert opinions about, TTU. His complete, full-length report containing recommendations for change will be available to Tan Tao University in the nearest future.