Brush Up Your Medical Knowledge By Joining The Mini-Medical School

Posted on Tuesday 3rd April 2007

Have you ever wanted to understand more about the human body or learn how treatments for some of the UK’s most diseases are changing? Well the good news is that you don’t have to spend five years in Medical School to find out, as the University of Birmingham is looking for applicants to join the UK’s first Mini Medical School.

The ten week course, which starts on April 25th, is designed to provide a fun and accessible overview of modern medicine for anyone with an interest in the subject.

Mini-Medical schools are already run successfully at a number of US universities, but this course is the first of its kind in the UK.

Professor David Fitzmaurice explains: "Mini-medical schools in the US are well established and popular. We felt that the role these courses play in explaining developments in medical science and in reinforcing public health messages could also be applied in the UK.

We want the Mini Medical School classes to be enjoyable and accessible to everyone, but also providing an accurate and informative view of modern medicine."

Each, two hour, session will cover a key topic in health including sessions on Cancer, cardiovascular disease, psychiatric disorders and respiratory diseases such as asthma.

There are also two sessions outlining the ethical issues facing modern doctors and the relationship between doctors and their patients. The final class will be something of a history lesson as students get a whistle-stop tour of the development of medicine from the beginning of time to the modern day.

Kate Bishop Business Development Fellow at the School of Medicine adds:
“We are particularly pleased that some of the University’s
most active researchers will be teaching sessions on the course. 
We hope this will help give the students a flavour of some of the exciting projects that are happening at Birmingham.

We have also enlisted some of our current students to help with the sessions and hopefully provide some insight about studying at the School.”

All the sessions are designed with a strong emphasis on practical demonstrations, so students will get to see the use of blood pressure monitors, , chest x-ray analysis and measuring a person’s oxygen uptake during exercise.

Professor Karen Morrison, is teaching the session on neurology, called “Good Brain – Bad Brain”:
“Every aspect of our medical research is supported by the general public, from clinical trials to charitable funding and it is very important that we work hard to communicate the potential impact of our work.

My session will take a look at what changes occur in the brain to 
cause conditions like stroke, or Alzheimer’s Disease to develop,
as well as a practical demonstration of how we can use techniques 
like EEG monitoring and scanning to understand more about the function of our brains.”

ENDS

For further media information, contact Ben Hill, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, Tel 0121 4145134, Mob 07789 921163.

NOTES TO EDITORS

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MINI MEDICAL SCHOOLS

Mini-medical schools were first established in North America over 10 years ago and have proved to be very popular with high demand and an increasing number of Universities running their own versions of the course.  The mini-medical school idea has also spread to Ireland and Australia but at the moment no Mini-medical school course are offered in the UK.