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Mini Medical School program to offer insight into the causes and treatments of common health ailments

Free series of informative sessions at IU Northwest aims to heighten area residents' understanding of important medical issues

Do you snore, suffer from lower back pain, or struggle with asthma or emphysema? Are you or someone you know a candidate for hi-tech surgery? Do you have a hard time getting a good night’s rest?

If so, then mark each Tuesday in April on your calendar and come to Indiana University Northwest to take part in Mini Medical School, a series of fun and informative healthcare presentations specifically designed for general, non-medical audiences.

Sponsored by the Indiana University School of Medicine — Northwest (IUSM—NW), Mini Medical School sessions will take place April 3, 10, 17 and 24 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the Savannah Center Auditorium, located on the IU Northwest campus at 3400 Broadway in Gary, Ind. Each session of this unique and popular community program will feature an in-depth look at some of today’s most important health topics.

This is the 12th year that IUSM—NW has hosted Mini Medical School. Pat Bankston, Ph.D., director and assistant dean of IUSM—NW, said the program fits with the medical school’s mission of furthering health education in the region.

“In addition to training Indiana’s future physicians, we have made a commitment to provide medical and health information to the citizens of Northwest Indiana,” Bankston said. “In past years, hundreds of Northwest Indiana residents from more than 20 different communities have attended this public lecture series.”

IUSM—NW, one of eight regional centers for Indiana’s only medical school, has been located on the IU Northwest campus since 1972. The IUSM—NW faculty is comprised of scientists and clinicians who teach medical students during their first two years of medical training. These students then complete their third and fourth years in clinical training at the primary IUSM campus in Indianapolis.

The same faculty members who teach IUSM—NW medical students will present the four Mini Medical School sessions next month. Each presentation is loosely modeled after real med-school curriculum. Topics covered include anatomy, neuroscience, physiology, genetics, etc. The sessions are jointly presented by scientists expert in their disciplines and clinicians expert in the diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases. Since the program is geared toward general audiences, each session emphasizes practical and useful healthcare knowledge over technical details and 10-syllable terminology. Participants who attend all four presentations will receive a certificate of “graduation.”

“Graduation from this program will not make its participants medical doctors, but it will make them better able to make important decisions about their own healthcare and the health of their families,” said Stephen Echtenkamp, Ph.D., coordinator of Mini Medical School at IUSM--NW.

This year’s Mini Medical School lineup includes: Session One -- Low Back Pain and Lumbar Degenerative Disease, presented by Dr. Dwight Tyndal, M.D. and Ernest Talarico, Ph.D. (April 3); Session Two — Breathe Free: COPD, Emphysema, Asthma, presented by Dr. Raja Devanathan, M.D. and Brian Kennedy, Ph.D. (April 10); Session Three -- A Healthy Night's Sleep: Sleep Apnea and Snoring, presented by Dr. Dennis Han, M.D. and Carl Marfurt, Ph.D. (April 17); and Session Four — World-Class Medicine Comes to Northwest Indiana: Gamma Knife, Cyber Knife and Robotic Surgery, presented by Drs. Kevin Waldron, M.D. and Andrej Zajac, M.D.

Each session will include time for questions from the audience. Refreshments will be provided.

All Mini Medical School presentations are free to the public, and free parking is available in the Savannah Center lot on 33rd Avenue west of Broadway. Interested participants can register for any or all of the sessions by calling (219) 980-6550.




Media Contact:

Christopher Sheid
Specialist, OMC

Michelle Searer
Director, OMC

Related Links:

IUSM - Northwest

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