SPRINGFIELD – Baystate Medical Center's Mini-Medical School, which begins its spring session on March 21, will give area residents a reason to come out of hibernation from the cold winter and join others interested in the expanding field of medicine.
The Mini-Medical School program is an eight-week health education series featuring a different aspect of medicine each week. Classes this spring will include sessions on various medical topics such as surgery, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, pathology, pediatrics and several others.
Many of the "students," who often range in age from 20 to 70, participate due to a general interest in medicine and later find that many of the things they learned over the semester are relevant to their own lives.
The goal of the program – offered in the comfortable and friendly environment of the hospital's Chestnut Conference Center, is to help members of the public make more informed decisions about their health care while receiving insight on what it is like to be a medical student – minus the tests, interviews and admission formalities.
Each course is taught by medical center faculty who explain the science of medicine without resorting to complex terms. Baystate Medical Center is the Western Campus of Tufts University School of Medicine and is the region's only teaching hospital.
All classes are held Thursday nights starting at 6 p.m. and run until 8 or 9 p.m. depending on the night's topic. No basic science knowledge is needed to participate. Each participant is required to attend a minimum of six out of eight classes in order to receive a certificate of completion.
Among the topics and speakers slated for the spring semester are:
• March 21 – "Hey, I Finally Got into Medical School!" with Dr. Michael Rosenblum, director, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and section chief, Baystate High Street Health Center; includes a general tour of the hospital.
• March 28 – "Surgery" with Dr. Richard Wait, chair, Department of Surgery; includes a tour of the Simulation Center and Goldberg Surgical Skills Lab.
• April 4 – "Pathology" with Dr. Richard Friedberg, chair, Department of Pathology; includes a tour of the lab.
• April 11 –"Anesthesiology" with Dr. Michael Bailin, chair, Department of Anesthesiology.
• April 18 – "The Business of Health Care" with Dr. Mark Keroack, chief physician executive and president of Baystate Medical Practices.
• April 25 – "Cardiac Surgery" with Dr. John Rousou, chief, Cardiac Surgery.
• May 2 – "Pediatrics" with Dr. Lindsey Grossman, chair, Department of Pediatrics.
• May 9 – "Emergency Medicine" with Dr. Joseph Schmidt, chief, Emergency Medicine; including a graduation ceremony presided over by Dr. Kevin Hinchey, senior vice president and chief academic officer.
Tuition is $95 per person and $80 for Senior Class, Spirit of Women, and Men's Health members.
Registration for the spring semester of Mini-Medical School is now in session by calling Baystate HealthLink at 794-2255 or 1-800-377-4325.
For more information, visit www.baystatehealth.org/minimed