Gift of Knowledge from School Teacher


Atsushi Takayama, MD (second from left) with NorthShore physician and staff

Japanese physician Atsushi Takayama, MD, spent two weeks visiting NorthShore, shadowing Thomas Triantafillou, MD, a specialist in geriatric medicine. When he left, he took with him newfound knowledge to take even better care of the growing rural elderly population in his homeland.

The visit was funded by a woman Dr. Takayama never met and who died six years ago at the age of 93. In her trust, Harriet Reynolds Korkes Tuve, the daughter of a rancher in Montana who worked as a Chicago school teacher, wanted her lifetime of interests in a number of subjects to benefit from her good fortune when she passed.

One of her wishes was to have an international doctor come to NorthShore and learn from geriatric experts, so she set aside a trust to make that visit happen. Dr. Triantafillou created a curriculum that the visiting Japanese doctor could learn from and then use those skills and information to help the elderly in his country. He shadowed Dr. Triantafillou as he saw nursing home patients, spent hours in the Geriatrics Clinic at NorthShore Glenbrook Hospital, listened in on lectures and spent time with NorthShore’s Chad J. Yucus, MD, a neurologist and dementia specialist.

The experience gave Dr. Takayama the ability to share what he learned with other physicians back in Japan. “The remoteness of the area we work in makes it difficult to study and keep up with medical developments,” he said. “Through the Harriet Reynolds Korkes Tuve Trust, I had the opportunity to study advanced medicine at NorthShore. It was an honor and a privilege.”

Dr. Takayama said Dr. Triantafillou taught him “many facts of medicine,” ranging from very specific details of dementia medication usage to a practical use of assessing a person’s cognitive function. “He was outstanding,” he said of his mentor. “I am overwhelmed by how organized every system at NorthShore is and what a first-rate medical facility and outstanding educational organization it is. I was very fortune to study there.”

Dr. Triantafillou said he also benefited from the interaction with his visitor. “Our assessment tools are similar,” he said, “but it was a great opportunity for me to learn as well. We have more resources here than in Japan, but our elderly population is growing at a fast pace and we have to plan for that future.”

If you would like more information about supporting NorthShore, please contact Walter Cody at 224.364.7204 or wcody@northshore.org or visit: foundation.northshore.org.

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