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Mini Medical School

Tuesday, February 7 at 7:00 PM
Des Moines University, Student Education Center (SEC), Des Moines, IA, 50312 Show Map

Experience the DMU campus and expand your medical knowledge – without taking the MCAT. Attend Mini Med School, a program that offers the public non-credit education on popular topics in health and medicine.

Talks are conducted by Des Moines University faculty and local experts in an accessible style appropriate for all audiences, aged middle school and up.

Register Online

The five-session, Tuesday evening series explores interesting, relevant topics:

February 7 – Dr. Julie Meachen  “Spelunking for Carnivores: Climate Change, Ice Age Extinctions & DNA”

Join a paleontologist as we armchair-rappel 75 feet into a cave that contains the remains of extinct ice age animals. This unique fossil site will tell scientists a great deal about climate change over the last 30,000 years and how climate change affects the genetic make-up and body form of both living and extinct mammals. Dr. Meachen’s excavations have unearthed extinct animals such as American lions, camels, horses, and short-faced bears as well as an extinct species of wolf that was previously only known from Alaska.

February 14 – Dr. Jeritt Tucker “Valentine’s Day Special: The Science of Love and Loneliness”

Over 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year expressing romantic love. And yet, there are many misperceptions about what it means to love and be loved. This presentation will focus on dispelling some of the cultural myths about love and explore healthy relating. From identifying your own “attachment style” to looking at the structure of modern families, this presentation will ask participants to take a hard look at some of their most core assumptions about love and loneliness.

February 21 – Dr. Patricia Quinlisk “Outbreak! Dodging Contagious Disease & Cognitive Decline”

Our state epidemiologist will discuss how public health identifies, investigates and stops outbreaks (example: food borne illness and Zika), and the scientific evidence about how to lower your risk of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Participants will engage in a hands-on outbreak simulation to better understand the spread of illness. 

February 28 – Dr. Maria Barnes “Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too: Balancing Weight and Hypertension”  

Gain too much weight and your chances of developing high blood pressure increases significantly. Explore the connection between weight and hypertension in a lecture and learning experience. Participants will engage in discussion and interactive groups to learn tips on how to maintain an ideal weight and prevent the development of hypertension. A blood pressure screening will also be provided.

March 7 – Dr. James Mahoney “Go with the Flow: Assessing Circulation in your Legs”

Learn from a podiatry professor how deterioration in leg circulation poses significant risk for the development of open skin lesions, infection, gangrene and amputation. Through lecture and lab format, the participant will be able to describe the main causes, signs and symptoms, tests and treatment for peripheral vascular disease. 


Cost: $25 covers all sessions. $10 for students and educators. Attendees 14 and under must be accompanied by a paid adult.

Questions about Mini Medical School can be directed to Brianne Sanchez, 515-271-1374 or brianne.sanchez@dmu.edu.