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Mini-Med School Marks its 13th Year Engaging the Community

More than 200 Baltimore-area residents participated in the University of Maryland School of Medicine's 13th annual Mini-Med School, a series of free courses aimed at helping the University's neighbors in West Baltimore and beyond learn ways to improve their health.

The program, which runs every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. during five weeks each fall, is conducted by top physicians and researchers from the School of Medicine and is offered free to everyone. Attendees are provided with a class manual summarizing all they have learned, which they can take home to study and/or share with their families.

The final session is also graduation night, when each participant who attends four of the five classes is called to the stage to receive a diploma. In the photo above, a diploma is being presented by Richard "Robin" Pierson, MD, professor in the Department of Surgery at the School of Medicine and senior associate dean for academic affairs at the School.


This important community outreach project is sponsored by the Office of Public Affairs at the School of Medicine. This year's series covered a wide range of health issues:

  • Session 1--The Affordable Care Act: Vincent DeMarco, president, Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative (substituting for Claudia Baquet, MD, MPH, professor, Department of Medicine, associate dean for policy and planning, and director of the Center for Health Disparities); and Basic First Aid: Benjamin Lawner, DO, EMT-P, assistant professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Session 2--Improving Balance and Avoiding Falls: Linda Horn, PT, DScPT, MHS, assistant professor, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science; and Problem Gambling: Christopher Welsh, MD, associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, and medical director, Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, and the late Joanna Franklin, MS, NCGC II, the center's program director
  • Session 3--Caring for a Family Member Diagnosed With Mental Illness: Ann Hackman, MD, associate professor, Department of Psychiatry (special extended presentation)
  • Session 4--Heart Valve Disease: James Gammie, MD, professor, Department of Surgery; and Diabetes 101: Alan Shuldiner, MD, the John L. Whitehurst Professor in the Department of Medicine, associate dean for personalized medicine, and director of the Program in Personalized and Genomic Medicine
  • Session 5--Kidney Disease: Matthew Weir, MD, professor, Department of Medicine

In addition to providing the public with important health care information, the goal of the University's mini-med school is to raise the public's awareness of biomedical research and the importance of enrolling in clinical trials. Mini-med school helps the University to give a lay audience a better understanding of the basic terms and concepts used in the biomedical sciences, the processes involved in science, and the importance of research to modern society.

Posting Date: 10/24/2013
Contact Name: Caelie Haines
Contact Phone: 410-328-8919
Contact Email: chaines@som.umaryland.edu