Thursday April 30, 2009
They take the bus just like real students; everyday people hoping to get the med school experience in a seven week crash course. It's Mini-Med School, offered absolutely free at the University of Virginia.
For the group we followed, the topic of the week was the MRI.
"They can go in with this imaging and see things easier," Mini-Med student Steve Hunter learned.
"It's just more than an X-ray, more than a CAT Scan," classmate Joyce Haney adds, "it's just a whole lot more."
These students aren't just content to sit in the back of the class and listen. They impressed their professor with their level of engagement.
"I think that the students seemed to be very interested," John Mugler, a UVa professor of radiology noted. "They wanted to learn more about what was going on and actually some of them were very penetrating questions."
For students like Scott Berry the program is a chance to better their own health.
"My dad has Type 2 Diabetes and that was one of the classes that we did," Berry said, "so I wanted to know how I can deal with it."
The university is getting praise from professors and students alike for reaching out and trying to educate the community through Mini-Med School.
"It's nice for someone to see firsthand some of this very advanced medical imaging technology," Mugler said. "I think that the basic principles are not that complicated and I think it's valuable to them, even just to be able to spend just a few minutes with the technology."
"I'm just wanting to learn more," Haney said. "I'm wanting to absorb more and to be able to understand."
"The more information I have the better equipped I'll be to deal with any medical things that come up," Hunter said, adding, "the better educated, the better prepared."
The program wraps up next week. These students, by day everything from builders to retirees, willll get to walk off with diplomas and knowledge they hope could make a difference in their lives.
If you would like more information on the next session of Mini-Med School, go to http://www.virginia.edu/uvatoday/newsRelease.php?id=7517 or call 434-924-5839.