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Mini Med School, big learning

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Can't remember the difference between a thyroid and pituitary? Don't know how your medulla oblongata works? Don't worry, a new program teaches complicated medical topics in layman's terms.

Beginning in September the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine established the first Mini Med School in Calgary.

"The idea behind MMS is the creation of a public forum so that the general public could find out about their own bodies," said program coordinator Dr. Bruce Wright. "I think everybody has a natural curiosity about how their body works and we just wanted to offer a program to do that."

U of C is the third Canadian university offering this program.

In the eight-lecture series, scientists and clinicians teach their areas of expertise on topics including hormones, the brain and nutrition.

However, the $195 fee isn't peanuts for everyone.

"We are an office that has to recoup its costs of doing business," said Dr. Wright. "People who are truly interested are usually willing to pay a little bit of money to find out about it."

Dr. Wright said participants' responses have been positive with most registering out of curiosity. and some looking to kickstart their medical career.

Dr. Wright stressed MMS is maybe not the best pre-med activity.

"The advice I would give to people would be to volunteer in health-care situations, and there's lots of opportunity for that," he said.

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