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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Mini Med School takes health to community

With the goal of educating community members, Mini Medical School, put on by the Texas A&M Health Science Center, tackles health-related topics with weekly lectures.
Thursday’s lecturer was Dr. Ruth Bush, vice dean for academic affairs. Her lecture covered the topic of healthy legs and blood circulation.
“I think the important takeaways from this are that people need to realize there are a lot of different things that can cause their leg pain,” Bush said. “As I said in the beginning, I think there’s a misnomer in saying that I have generic circulatory problems. People need to realize that there’s different things that can cause the arterial and different things that can cause the venous circulatory disorders.”
In 2006, Brenda Long, director of alumni and community relations at the College of Medicine, was approached by the dean about creating this program through the National Institute of Health.
“[The dean] wanted the community to know that the College of Medicine is here and he wanted to bring people into the college to showcase our faculty,” Long said.
The program takes place every Thursday until Feb. 19. At these sessions, Texas A&M lecturers give presentations that are approximately 45 minutes of lecture followed by 30 minutes of question-and-answer.
Long said the benefits of the program show in the types of questions people ask.
“The majority of our attendees are retired community members,” Long said. “They are like sponges — they just soak everything in and they’re worried about their health. You can tell by a lot of questions that they have gone through some of these things personally or know someone who has.”
Bush said the program gives members of the community the chance to spend time with somebody who’s an expert in the field.
“I think what it’s done is raise awareness about personal health in the community,” Bush said. “Also we have researchers who come and talk about cutting-edge research going on at the Health Science Center that they might want to learn about. Even though it may not pertain to them specifically, they can learn about it. I think the real impact is for people to be able to learn about their own health and take care of themselves or their loved ones.”
Bill Krumm, a member of the community who attends the program’s presentations, said the program helps prepare him to be his own healthcare advocate.
“I’m not saying anything against the doctor, but you have to be your own advocate,” Bill said. “It’s like when you go to the hospital for surgery or something, you should have someone there as an advocate to make sure they’ve got shift changes and everything else. Knowledge is important and this is increasing our knowledge base. As we get older — I’m in my 70s — you want to know more because you become more of a user of the healthcare system.”
While a goal of the program is to highlight the new Texas A&M Health Science Center building and faculty, Long said there is no correlation between attending this program and getting into medical school.
“I’ve had people email me saying they’re interested in coming to medical school,” Long said. “I just tell them, ‘This is not a recruiting event, we don’t discuss admissions, but if you’re interested in medical school and want to learn about any of these health issues, there is probably something you can gain from it.’”

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