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Baystate set to open doors for mini medical school

SPRINGFIELD Area grammar schools, high schools and colleges aren't the only academic institutions opening their doors to students again in September. Baystate Medical Center, the Western Campus of Tufts University School of Medicine, is now accepting registrations for the fall semester of its popular weekly eight-session Mini Medical School for the general public beginning Sept. 4 and ending Nov. 13. Participants in Baystate Medical Center's Mini-Medical School, introduced seven years ago, will gain a wealth of knowledge on current medical issues and will walk away being able to make more informed decisions about their health care while receiving insight on what it's like to be a medical student. Taught by Baystate Medical Center physicians who serve on the faculty of Tufts University School of Medicine, the eight-week Mini-Medical School will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. most nights. No basic science knowledge is needed to participate. There will be no tests and students will not receive an M.D. degree, but they will be more informed about medical education and about some advances in medicine. Mini-Medical School will open on Sept. 4 with an orientation, including a welcome and opening remarks from Dr. Hal Jenson, chief academic officer, Baystate Health, followed by a lecture on "What is Medical School" presented by Dr. David Rose, chief, General Medicine and Geriatrics at Baystate Medical Center. Also during the introductory session, participants will don lab coats and take a behind-the-scenes tour of Baystate Medical Center. Additional sessions conducted by Baystate Medical Center physicians include Sept. 11, "Surgery," presented by Dr. Richard Wait, chairman, Department of Surgery; Sept. 18, "Emergency Medicine," presented by Dr. John Santoro, acting chair, Emergency Medicine; Sept. 25, "Cancer," presented by Dr. Richard Arenas, chief, Surgical Oncology; Oct. 2, "Psychiatry," presented by Dr. Benjamin Liptzin, chair, Department of Psychiatry; Oct. 16, "Pathology," presented by Dr. Christopher Otis, director, Surgical Pathology; Oct. 30, "Cardiology," presented by John Rousou, chief, Cardiac Surgery; and Nov. 13, "Total Joint Replacement," presented by Dr. Richard Fingeroth, chief, Baystate's Hip and Knee Replacement Program. "As the region's major academic teaching hospital, we are attempting to reach out to the public to give them a little idea about what it is like to be a medical student, while at the same time providing them with the latest information on heart disease, minimally invasive surgery and other medical topics of current interest," Jenson said. Participants who complete six of the eight classes will receive a certificate of completion and a gift during a special graduation ceremony during the last session on Nov. 13. Classes will take place at Baystate Medical Center's Chestnut Building on 759 Chestnut St. in Springfield. The cost for the entire eight-week session is $95 or $80 for Baystate's Senior Class or Spirit of Women members. Free parking and refreshments will be provided. Limited space is available for the fall session of Mini Medical School. Enrollment is on a first come, first served basis. To register, call Baystate HealthLink at 794-2255.

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