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September 2008 Issue

Last year's Mini Medical College participants had the opportunity to tour through the labs at the Vontz Center for Molecular Studies.
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Mini Medical College Offers Four-Week Crash Course on Health Care Issues

By Jill Hafner
Published September 2008

There might be no gross anatomy labs, on-call pagers or intense clinical exams, but for some community members, UC’s 2008 Mini Medical College may be as close as it gets to learning first-hand about today’s health care issues.

Beginning Oct. 7, professors in UC’s College of Medicine will deliver a four-week public crash course on medicine and science— all from a layperson’s perspective.

For some attendees, the school offers a chance to get “insider” information on what’s happening inside the bricks and mortar of health care.

For others, like Glenn King of Wyoming, it’s a way to reconnect with a past missed opportunity.

“I always wanted to be a doctor,” says King, who hails from a medical- oriented family. “I actually started preparing to go to medical school, but my father who was a surgeon said that I needed to make a choice—to be a physician or get married and have a family.

“At that time, it wasn’t a suggested option to do both, so I chose the latter,” she says.

Although now an artist, King still says she’s just as interested in medicine as she was when she was 18. And while past thoughts of medical school still linger, she does feel connected to the field—thanks in part to Mini Medical College.

This fall will mark her fifth session.

“Going to this school year after year is my way of keeping in touch with what’s going in medicine,” says King. “I just love it.

“Plus,” she adds, “it gives you more accurate information than you would obtain elsewhere—you get everything right from the horse’s mouth.”

That’s precisely what draws George Wile back year after year.

An attendee since the very first program in 2000, Wile says Mini Medical College “is an eye opener for how difficult and complex health care really is.”

“I’m fascinated by the intelligence of the speakers,” he says. “I remember one speaker talking about organ transplant. The critical know-how and the presentation made me realize how difficult it can be, and it gave me the optimism that solutions will be found.”

Wile, who is in remission from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia, says some of the past topics have even inspired him to take a proactive approach to his own health care.

“The last 10 years have forced me to rethink not only what I have done in the past but how to recreate a future to emphasize health care,” says Wile, a UC benefactor who retired from a successful career in the manufacturing and distribution industry.

“I have taken some of what I learned from this program and applied it to my everyday living.”

And that’s one of the program’s goals, along with creating a setting that is as true to life as the detailed curriculum. In addition to presentations in actual lecture halls, past attendees have participated in clinical skills labs that have offered a hands-on experience unlike any other.

“I remember one year they showed us how to deliver a baby,” says King. “You never know when you might be in that situation and might have to birth a baby by yourself. It was nice to learn the basics.”

Attendees also receive a 125-page manual, outlining each course with as much detail as you might find in any medical reference book—minus the complex jargon.

“It’s a really great course,” says King. “Really, the only thing missing from this educational program might be the student loan!”

Mini Medical College 2008 Schedule:

October 7
Memory Problems in Older Adults: Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders—Gregg Warshaw, MD, Martha Betty Semmons Professor of Geriatric Medicine and professor of family medicine

I Need Anesthesia for My Procedure—What Does That Mean?—Lesley Gilbertson, MD, associate professor of anesthesia

October 14
Simulation in Med Ed—Michael Sostok, MD, professor of medicine, assistant dean for medical education

Air Care: An ER in the Sky—Bill Hinckley, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine

October 21
What Everyone Needs to Know About Stroke and Why—Joe Broderick, MD, chair and professor of neurology

The Exploding Field of Diabetes Care: New Developments and New Challenges—Barbara Ramlo-Halsted, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of the UC Diabetes Center

October 28
Global Health an Overview: Challenges and Opportunities in International Collaboration—Jonathan Castillo, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics

Surgical Weight Loss—Lisa Martin Hawver, MD, assistant professor of surgery.

Tuition to Mini Medical College is $69 and includes all eight lectures, parking, a notebook of materials and information, a Mini Medical College T-shirt and a certificate of participation for those who attend all eight sessions. For more information or to register, call (513) 556-6932 or visit

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