UTMB’s Mini Medical School graduated its first class at the Angleton Danbury Campus on April 26, which included nearly 60 participants from working professionals and community leaders to retired seniors and high school students.
Excited graduates took turns trying on white lab coats while posing for pictures. One of those was Angleton High School senior Mary Stanford, who decided to attend the class sessions to increase her scientific knowledge and gain more comfort with medical terminology.
“I thought the school would be a great start for me to learn more about the cardiovascular system, nervous system and digestive system,” said Stanford. “The classes have convinced me that I should pursue a career in medicine.”
UTMB’s Mini Medical School is free and open to the public, and includes a series of three weekly lectures by UTMB physicians, covering such topics as the respiratory, nervous and cardiovascular systems. This was the first time the program was offered at the Angleton Danbury Campus. The school is based on a program started by the National Institutes of Health and the Association of American Medical Colleges and was held for several years in various locations including Galveston, League City, Houston and Austin—it was even taught on a cruise once. The program was recently revived with funding from the President’s Cabinet Awards.
“The mission of Mini-Medical School is to help patients better understand medical education as well as biomedical research so that they have a better understanding of what an academic medical center is truly all about,” said Becky Trout, UTMB’s executive director for community relations. “The pilot at the Angleton Danbury Campus was very successful. We’re excited to plan the next one.”
That’s good news to one of the school’s presenters, Dr. Mohamed Morsy, an associate professor of cardiology in the Department of Internal Medicine. Morsy said the program provides a great service to the community.
“It helps people understand the concept of medicine at a deeper level and this expanded knowledge can help them become better patients,” said Morsy. “I love the interaction. It’s very enriching and helps me connect emotionally to patients. It’s good that we do things like this to reach out to the community.”
Don Nigbor, a retired professional and member of the Angleton Danbury hospital district board, said that after attending the recent sessions he has a greater appreciation for the work UTMB doctors do.
“The presenters provided a great amount of detail and I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I’m really impressed by UTMB’s services and the capabilities of the physicians. I will apply some of the doctors’ medical tips to my daily life.”
To see more pictures from the event, visit www.flickr.com/photos/utmb/albums.