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Ninth Annual Mini-Med School Offered Our Neighbors a Series of Free Classes on Improving Their Health

Thursday, October 8, 2009

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 Participants took notes on the presentations so they could share the information with family and friends who could not attend.
 

Our ninth annual Mini-Med School kicked off, appropriately enough, on 09/09/09, with more than 200 participants, many of whom were attending for the first time. Most of these students completed the four or more sessions required to earn their Mini-Med School diplomas, which were presented by E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore at a ceremony on October 7.  
 
Offered as a public service by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Mini-Med School is a series of tuition-free classes designed to help Baltimore residents improve their health and well being. Mini-Med School lectures are presented by faculty physicians at the medical school one night a week for five weeks each fall. They are open to everyone.

The sessions are designed to be casual, informative presentations on health care issues that are important to the community, but they are not all fun and games. “We are not here just to entertain you, we are here to educate you,” Dean Reece told the audience. He encouraged participants not to get overwhelmed by the amount of information presented, but to focus on the issues that mean the most to them and their families and learn all they can about those areas. “This is something we believe we have an obligation to do,” added Dean Reece. “To the extent we can educate our neighbors about their lifestyles and making healthier choices, we can help them live longer, healthier lives.”

End-of-life issues, both legal and ethical, were the topic of the first night’s presentation, given by Henry Silverman, MD, MA, professor of Medicine, and Leslie Meltzer Henry, JD, MSc, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. This subject generated quite a bit of discussion among participants, who asked anxious questions about who had the right to make such decisions for them if they were not able to speak for themselves. Participants learned about legal documents such as advanced directives and legal wills, and the legal steps needed to ensure their wishes are honored in the event of sudden tragedy. Dr. Silverman also presented actual case studies to help the audience better appreciate just how difficult making these decisions can be for both family and medical professionals when there are no directions in place.

Other topics during the five-weeks of classes were Genomics & Personalized Medicine; Stem Cells: Hype vs. Reality; Male Reproductive Health; Death Investigation in Maryland; How Family and Social Issues Affect Your Health; and Improving Outcomes for Children with Emergency Conditions.
 
A gallery of photos from graduation night can be found on our Facebook page.
 
Mini-Med School is held each Fall at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. For more information on classes and how to register, please visit http://medschool.umaryland.edu/minimed/.

Contact

Caelie Haines
Manager, Public Affairs
(410) 706-7508
chaines@som.umaryland.edu

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 Dean Reece encouraged students to focus on the issues that are most relevant to them and their families.
 
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 Our youngest graduate, Aria Redman-Hoel, came every week with mom Lauren, earning both of them a Mini-Med diploma.
 




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 Dean Reece congratulated Jacqueline Harmon, our oldest graduate, who is 92 years young.