Designed for individuals who want to gain a deeper understanding of the world of medicine, Mini-Medical School is a free, six-week series of lectures for adults of all ages and high school students co-sponsored with the Delaware Academy of Medicine / Delaware Public Health Association. Attendees learn about important trends in diagnosing and treating illness and general health topics. Faculty will provide in-depth lectures and allow time for questions to enhance the experience. There are no tests or grades. No previous medical training is required. Participants who attend all six sessions will receive a Certificate of Achievement.

There is no cost to attend this event which is co-sponsored by Christiana Care Health System and the Delaware Academy of Medicine / Delaware Public Health Association.

Mini-Medical School expands health literacy in the First State

Popular educational event in partnership with Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association draws students young and old.

May 6, 2016

As she settled into the final class of the Delaware Mini-Medical School for 2016, Carol R. Ford of Talleyville was eager to learn what to expect as she ages.

“You can’t beat the information you get and what the instructors teach you,” said Ford, who has attended the free series of lectures at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center the last three years. “Tonight is all about geriatrics.”

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She encouraged friends and family to sign up to learn about what it means to have heart failure or what kind of toll stress takes on the body — two of the topics covered in the six-week series. And Ford is not alone in finding the classes valuable.

“With medicine there is so much to learn, and everything is always changing,” said Marilyn Powers of Hockessin. “Anything you can learn is helpful.”

The Mini-Medical School is a partnership between Christiana Care and the Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association to achieve greater health understanding and literacy in the First State. Similar programs have been popular around the nation, said Timothy Gibbs, MPH, executive director of the Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association. The ninth round of classes, which drew between 117 and 160 students each night, was completed April 14 with attendees receiving a certificate of achievement.

The classes are designed to impart in-depth medical information without pressure, in that there are no tests or grades. This year’s classes were taught by Christiana Care clinicians and a University of Delaware professor. The content is much like that of medical school, though no previous medical training is required. However, many of the younger attendees are thinking about medicine as a career.

Anthony Farmah of Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, certainly is. He is completing his undergraduate studies and working as a surgical technologist. “These classes are a great opportunity because I am interested in neurosurgery and going to medical school,” said Farmah, who is 32.

Alexis Paulino, a junior at Caravel Academy, feels similarly. “I am interested in becoming a nurse and thought this was a good way to learn some of my options,” she said. “And I am learning a lot.”

Each year students make suggestions for topics they would like covered the next year. This year’s classes on drugs, alcohol, addiction and concussions were suggested by students in 2015. Mark Lanyon, Ph.D., program manager with Project Engage, taught the class on addiction, and Kristopher Fayock, M.D., assistant director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship, addressed the topic of concussions.

The last speaker in this year’s series was Ina I. Li, M.D., director of Clinical Geriatrics and program director for Christiana Care’s home visiting program. Students praised her energetic and engaging lecture style.

“I am like Dr. Marcus Welby, going out with a black bag,” said Dr. Li, who also is medical director of the Visiting Nurse Association.

Dr. Li pointed out that aging is a process, not a disease, and that there are healthy ways to age. “Exercise is the ‘fountain of youth’ as it benefits all parts of your body from your brain to your joints. So keep moving!”

2016 Delaware Mini-Med

Heart Failure:  What is It, Who Has It and How to Treat It

Thursday, March 10

The doctor has just used the words: "Heart Failure" to describe a patient’s condition.....what does this mean and what are their options? This talk will explore the implications of this diagnosis, what steps are taken to evaluate it and what treatment options are available.

Mitchell T. Saltzberg, M.D., FACC, Medical Director, Heart Failure Program, Christiana Care Health System


Gene Editing: Is the Age of Genetic Surgery Upon Us?

Thursday, March 17

It is now possible to alter the sequence of human genes in a precise and efficient way, similar to using spell-check on a Word document. Learn how new genetic technologies are changing medicine from both a scientific light and ethical perspective. 

Eric Kmiec, Ph.D., Director, Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute’s Gene Editing Institute at the Center for Translational Cancer Research (CTCR)


Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction – 
Re-Considering Addiction: Lessons from Other Chronic Illnesses.

Thursday, March 24

Learn about the signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal, what is low-risk drinking, how do alcohol and drug use affect the human body, is addiction a chronic illness, and if so is addiction any different from other chronic illnesses?

Mark Lanyon, Ph.D., ICADC, ICCDPD, LCDP, LPC, Project Engage clinical program manager, Christiana Care Health System


The Impact of Stress and How to Cope

Thursday, March 31

This session will explore how stress affects our bodies and will identify coping strategies that help mitigate those effects.

Margaret Keenan, Ph.D., Psychologist, Christiana Care Health System


Concussions – Getting Your Head Out of the Game

Thursday, April 7

This session will focus on how sports-related concussions are diagnosed on the field and in the office. Learn about the process of returning the athletes to school and to their sport.

Kristopher Fayock, M.D., Assistant Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Christiana Care Health System

Tom Buckley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Athletic Training in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at the University of Delaware.


Geriatrics – A Specialty for Complex Primary Care

Thursday, April 14

What is normal and abnormal when it comes to aging? This session will differentiate the two and discuss common syndromes encountered in geriatrics and how to evaluate and manage them.

Ina I. Li, M.D., Associate Director, Geriatrics; Medical Director, Visiting Nurse Association; Value Institute Scholar, Christiana Care Health System


Location: John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, Christiana Hospital
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, DE 19718 (directions)

Registration 6:30 p.m.
Lectures 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Light refreshments will be served.

Christiana Care Health System

800-693-CARE (2273)     PO Box 1668, Wilmington, DE 19899

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