Marvels of medicine come alive in Mini-Medical School

Marvels of medicine come alive in Mini-Medical School

Libby Carey has always been fascinated by anatomy. At Mini-Medical School, she took a six-session tour of the human body, from the recesses of the brain, through the circulatory system and beyond — and all without a stethoscope, a microscope or a white coat.

“I am very interested in the way our bodies work, and Mini-Med School is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our health,” said Carey, of Townsend.

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Carey was especially impressed by the lecture by Valerie E. Dechant, M.D., medical director of Neuro Critical Care at Christiana Care. Dr. Dechant spoke on treatments for serious neuromuscular diseases and injuries.

“She communicated in a way that lay people could understand,” she says. “I learned a lot about strokes, including that many people ignore the warning signs — which is absolutely the wrong thing because timely treatment is so important.”

Now in its seventh season, Mini-Medical School is a free annual event that is sponsored by Christiana Care Health System and the Delaware Academy of Medicine. Courses fill up quickly; this year, more than 200 people registered for lectures. Learners who attended all six lectures earned a certificate of achievement.

“The adult learners crave information about health,” said Timothy Gibbs, MPH, executive director of the Academy of Medicine. “Many of the young people are here because they are interested in careers in health care.”

Taylor Lee and Jessica Wilson of Wilmington, both 15-year-old students at John Dickinson High School, plan to become doctors. Taylor is focused on OB-GYN; Jessica is interested in cardiology.

“The doctors were very down-to-earth, not at all intimidating, which made learning more fun,” said Taylor, who took notes at the four lectures she attended.

Faculty members, all doctors at Christiana Care, give in-depth lectures on important issues related to health, as well as advances in medicine and research. This year, topics included the Affordable Care Act, depression, hypertension, breast cancer and more.

Michael Cotsell of Wilmington said he was most interested in the presentation on pelvic-floor disorders by Babak Vakili, M.D., director of the Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery.

“I did not know there was a medical specialty that helped women with bladder problems,” he said. “It was an eye-opening lecture, highly educational, on a topic I knew nothing about before I came to Mini-Med School.”