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Mini Medical School informs public about serious health issues

Learn about important medical issues that may affect you or a loved one at the annual Mini Medical School, sponsored by the Indiana University School of Medicine and Northwest Center for Medical Education. In its ninth year, the free school meets on four consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning Sept. 22 through Oct. 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the university’s Savannah Center Auditorium. Questions from the audience are encouraged and refreshments are provided.

Those who attend at least three of the four sessions will receive a professional-looking Certificate of Completion. The school has been rewarding "graduates" of Mini Medical School with certificates each year. According to Stephen Echtenkamp, Ph.D., professor of physiology and organizer of the school, people enjoy receiving something and it mimics the educational process of our medical students.

"We don't award any official ‘continuing medical education’ credits, but some of the participants have used these certificates as informal documentation of continuing medical education for their own purposes," Echtenkamp said.

The same faculty who teach medical students will present the four Mini Medical School sessions. Each session is loosely modeled after the real medical school curriculum, covering topics in anatomy, neuroscience, physiology, genetics, etc. The sessions are jointly presented by scientists expert in their discipline, and clinicians expert in diagnosis and treatment of specific disease. However, these lectures are designed to be fun and informative to a general, non-medical student audience.

"From the beginning, the IU School of Medicine has been about service to the community," Echtemkamp adds. "This program will not make its participants medical doctors, but it will make them better able to make important decisions about their own health care and the health of their families."

This year’s Mini Medical School schedule includes:

•Session one –Sept. 22: Colon Cancer—Our GI Tract and Its Health.


Peter Mavrelis, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Physician in Merrillville

Patrick Bankston, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology

•Session two-Sept. 29: Heart Disease—New Treatments For Our Biggest Killer.


David Jayakar, M.D., Physician in Munster

Stephen Echtenkamp, Ph.D., Professor of Physiology

•Session three-Oct. 6: The Aging Eye—Keeping Our Vision for a Lifetime.


Scott Buck, M.D., Physician in Valparaiso

Carl Marfurt, Ph.D., Professor of Neuroscience

•Session four-Oct. 13: Breast Cancer—Is There a Father Connection?


Janice Zunich, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Physician in Gary

Dipika Gupta, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry

The Northwest Center for Medical Education is one of eight regional centers of Indiana’s only school of medicine, and has been located on the campus of Indiana University Northwest since 1972. Gary’s Northwest Center is composed of scientists and clinicians who teach medical students in their first two years of medical training. The last two years of school are spent in clinical training at the medical campus in Indianapolis.

For more information and to register for the Mini Medical School, please call

(219) 980-6550 or toll-free at 1-888-YOUR-IUN.



Media Contact:

Kim Kintz
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