OUWB’s Mini-Medical School gives parents a taste of the real thing
Mini-Med School Parents 1
Parents of students at OUWB work on a team-based learning exercise that was part of their participation in Mini-Medical School.

The path to becoming a physician requires a tremendous amount of work and time though it recently took less than a day for some parents of students at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

OK, so they didn’t actually become physicians. Instead, the more than 50 parents took part in OUWB’s Mini-Medical School — a program designed to give them a small taste of the real thing.

The half-day event included meeting with faculty members that their students interact with on a regular basis, having a chance to engage in hands-on experiences that showcase the curriculum, and taking an in-depth look at OUWB’s facilities.

Parents even read the Oath of Geneva at the beginning of their day, and at the end of the day — right before they “graduated” — recited the oath read by the OUWB class of 2019 at its recent commencement.

“Mini-Medical School is an opportunity for parents to experience a day in the life of an OUWB student,” said Pam Holtz, alumni and parent program coordinator, OUWB. “It's an ideal way to see first-hand what makes OUWB exceptional.”

The day began with a session aimed to help the parents understand the OUWB team-based learning (TBL) approach.

Duane Mezwa, M.D., FACR, Stephan Sharf Interim Dean, OUWB, professor, Diagnostic Radiology and Molecular Medicine, emphasized to parents the importance of team-based learning at OUWB, which was facilitated by Robert Noiva, Ph.D., associate dean for Graduate Studies & Community Integration and associate professor in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies.

“Many of the students were accepted into five or six medical schools but picked OUWB because of our community-based approach to caring about each other,” Mezwa, told the parents.

Josephine Bramble, mother of M1 Ashley Williams, said she enjoyed learning how team-based learning is used at OUWB.

“I thought it was a great experience because that’s how they’re going to be working in the real world,” she said. “It’s good to know that.”

Following the TBL session, the parents were split into two groups.

One went to the anatomy lab for a hands-on learning experience designed to correlate the anatomical structures with clinical cases. The other group met with the OUWB standardized patients, who talked about what they do and their role in the education of medical students.

Mini-Med School Parents 2Holly Kazyak, mother of M1 Krickett Kazyak, said she enjoyed listening to the standardized patients talk about their work.

“I always thought they were just actors,” said Kazyak. “But (hearing about) the training they go through is amazing.”

Overall, Kazyak said she was “absolutely amazed” by what she learned during Mini-Medical School at OUWB.

“I’m not in the medical profession, have never been in the medical profession, so just seeing what (Krickett) is going to be experiencing is eye-opening,” she said.

Another father shared a similar sentiment.

“It’s been fabulous,” said Michael Clemmens, M.D., father of M1 Jimmy Clemmens. “It’s way beyond what we’d expected in terms of exposure, explanations, and hands-on. It’s really given us a nice feel for what (Jimmy) is going to be experiencing his first year.”

This year marked the introduction of OUWB’s Mini-Medical School sparking tremendous interest with parents who are proving to be just as inquisitive as their children.  

“It’s important for us to expose the parents to the same kind of experiences that their respective medical students have so they can be supportive,” said Rick Kelley, senior director of development, OUWB. “It’s one thing to sit in a classroom or lecture hall and hear about the school, but it’s another thing to experience it hands-on.”

If you are interested in participating in an upcoming Mini-Medical School event (date TBD), please reach out directly to Pam Holtz at [email protected]

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