Have you ever wanted to go to medical school but couldn’t stomach the thought of a gross anatomy lab? Now you can, without the fear of exams, student loans or cadavers. The College of Medicine at The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center is offering a Mini-Medical School during the 2005 spring semester for community members interested in learning current, relevant medical information.
The purpose of the Mini-Medical School, planned for three consecutive Thursday evenings in January and February, is to educate Bryan-College Station residents on up-to-date health and wellness topics. The Mini-Medical School begins at 6:00 p.m. on all three dates: January 27, February 3 and February 10. Sessions will be held in Lecture Hall 1 in the Joe H. Reynolds Medical Building on Texas A&M University’s west campus. Mini-Medical School students can attend informative lectures on hypertension and heart disease, cancer and women’s health by three outstanding College of Medicine faculty members.
“The Mini-Medical School is a unique opportunity for members of the local community to see what medical school is like in a relaxed atmosphere,” College of Medicine Dean Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., said. “This experience offers a glimpse into what our students go through during their studies here, and we are thrilled to invite our neighbors to get to know some of the finest faculty in the country.”
The College of Medicine currently boasts approximately 700 basic scientists and clinicians between both the College Station and Temple campuses. These talented physicians, researchers and educators play a crucial role in shaping students during the course of their medical education. The three presenters for the 2005 Mini-Medical School, two clinicians and a basic scientist, are some of the college’s leading experts.
Dr. Don DiPette, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the College of Medicine and Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic, will present the first lecture, entitled ‘Hypertension: The Heart’s Silent Enemy,’ on Thursday, January 27. This informative lecture will explore the relationship between hypertension and heart disease. Dr. DiPette is board certified in internal medicine and clinical pharmacology and has a specialist certification in hypertension. He has published approximately 100 manuscripts in leading peer-reviewed clinical and basic science journals.
A 1989 honor graduate from the College of Medicine, Dr. Roy Smythe is the chairman of the department of surgery at the college and Scott & White. His presentation at the February 3 session, ‘Cancer: When Good Cells Go Bad,’ will focus on the latest information on cancer research and treatments. Dr. Smythe is a highly recognized physician who received the Institutional Physician-Scientist Award from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2000 and was named an Alley Sheridan Scholar by the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University/Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education in 2003. He was also named to the list of ‘Best Doctors in America’ for 2003-2004.
Dr. Farida Sohrabji will present the final Mini-Medical School lecture February 10, dealing with women’s health issues, entitled ‘Hormones: To Replace or Not to Replace.’ She will discuss the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy, as well as other concerns related to women’s health. Dr. Sohrabji is an associate professor in the human anatomy and medical neurobiology department at the College of Medicine. Her primary research concentrates on critical issues in women’s health and aging. More specifically, Dr. Sohrabji’s work examines how the decline of hormones at menopause affects brain function and the impact of hormone replacement therapy on cognitive function in the aging female brain.
All three lectures will be approximately 45 minutes, followed by an open Q&A session. Mini-Medical School students are encouraged to ask questions at the conclusion of each lecture.
Parking for the Mini-Medical School is available in Faculty Lot 73 behind the building. Refreshments will be served.

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