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School of Medicine Wraps Up First Mini-Med School for Kids

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

 Dr. Anderson showed off a healthy set of lung and encouraged campers to stay smoke-free, so theirs would always look like this.

More than 30 children between the ages of 5 and 16 got a taste of medical school throughout July and August when the University of Maryland School of Medicine held its first Mini-Med School for Kids at the Salvation Army's Franklin Square Boys & Girls Club summer camp in West Baltimore.


Like all of our medical students, their education started with anatomy instruction from Larry Anderson, PhD, professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, who proved just as popular with this younger crowd as he is with his usual students. Mini-Med School for Kids continued for the next six Wednesdays at the camp, covering such topics as heart health & exercise, diabetes & obesity, asthma, smoking, drug addiction & abuse and HIV.


The final session was held at the School of Medicine, where the children were able to visit a basic science laboratory and do a few experiments of their own. They also toured the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center with Carnell Cooper, MD, who spoke with the campers about violence prevention. His presentation included a performance by spoken-word artists David Ross & Femi Lawal of 5th L.


"It's been so wonderful," raved camp director Deborah Tyson about the Mini-Med School experience. "It's been exciting, it's been educational, it's been rejuvenating, because it brings life to the field of medicine, which some of the children are interested in. It's given them so much knowledge that they really need, as far as how to take care of themselves. And it reinforces things we've taught them at camp, like eating healthy and taking care of yourself in dangerous situations, like Dr. Cooper was talking about – drugs, gangs. When you see trouble, don't run towards it, run away from it."


The response from her campers has been an enthusiastic one. "They've loved it, they've looked forward to it every week," Tyson says. "Some of the children who weren't interested in the medical field before are now because of Mini-Med school. It's been an extremely rewarding experience, and I hope somewhere along the line they come back to our camp so a new group of children can have an experience similar to what our kids had this year."

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 Laurence Taylor was fascinated by the heart Dr. Shawn Robinson brought along for his presentation.

 Dr. Robinson's heart lecture stressed the importance of exercise, such as these push-ups a camper happily demonstrated.

 Girls experimented with basic science in the lab of Dr. Alessio Fasano.

 Dr. Carnell Cooper led a tour of Shock Trauma and spoke of how to avoid the violence that might lead campers to become a patient there.

 Campers learned what a hyperbaric chamber was and even got to peek inside one.

 The children took full advantage of the chance to explore medicine from the laboratory and clinical sides.

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