Mini Medical School

Meet the newest graduates of Mini Medical School.

It’s the summer program for high school and early college students interested in healthcare, to learn about the field of medicine and get some hands-on experience.

Dr. Ira Rubin started the program to help kids figure out if this is the field for them.

“The fun of it is seeing when the kids are excited and they like it and they actually make it spark, a spark is what I call it,” said Dr. Rubin, a pediatrician at Edward Hospital. “The kid lights up and you see that they really enjoy and want to do something. And you spark that interest and you spark that motivation. So some parents say ‘you’ve turned my child into something different’ and in that short period of time they were not knowing what to do and now it’s like they’re very focused and they’re driven.”

The daylong program includes lectures from Dr. Rubin about medicine and special practices. Then the students go through 16 different medical experiences for ten minutes each.

“I really like learning. They were showing us how to do IVs, and we don’t learn that in CNA school so I thought that that was super cool,” said Jennifer Braun, a nursing student at College of DuPage who participated in Mini Medical School. “We learned how to deliver a baby and that was super different because you never know when you could use that. So just little things like that that were super cool.”

The pilot of Mini Medical School began in 2005 with just 24 students from Naperville Central. Today the program takes over the lower level of Edward’s ER location in Plainfield and has evolved into a 20-hour winter program for 64 hand selected students, and two eight-hour summer sessions for 70 students.

Top graduates of the winter program are selected by Dr. Rubin to be teaching assistants for the summer sessions, like Amey Maley.

“I definitely have been leaning toward a career in healthcare after going through this, because Dr. Rubin has been very realistic about what it takes to have a career in healthcare and also what it entails so it’s made me more interested. So I definitely see myself doing it in the future,” said Maley, a junior at Naperville North High School.

And some graduates have done just that – taking their training and moving on to the real deal.

“Now looking back as a fourth year medical student, I realize that all the skills we learn in the skills lab that Dr. Rubin has been holding, these are all skills that we’ve been learning on our hospital rotations. So having gone through all these skills once before with Dr. Rubin, I think it was a really valuable experience and gave me a bit of a leg up in that sense. But at the same time I also knew what was coming and I was really excited and I think that’s enhanced my medical experience as well,” said Aneesh Tyle, a graduate of Mini Medical School.

Students also get a certificate of completion – proof of the closer look they’ve had into the world of medicine.

Applications for Dr. Rubin’s Mini Medical School’s winter program will be available on minimedicalschool.com in August.

Naperville news 17’s Christine Lena reports.

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