USF to present medical research

USF’s College of Medicine will share its research with the Tampa community Monday in its second session of a Mini-Med school that gives the community a lesson on health issues.

The sessions are designed to educate the public about health-care practices and advancements found from research. The relationship between science and medical procedures is not only the goal of the USF Mini-Med School sessions, but also sessions across the country.

The Mini-Med school sessions began in 1992 to focus on educating the community about health care. The College of Medicine and Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, fund the sessions with grants to allow the public to attend them for free.

The National Institute of Health involves more schools each year in the Mini-Med school program. Each university series concentrates on the health concerns of the community. Monday’s session will cover improvements in subjects such as diagnostic imaging, epilepsy and the treatment of heart attacks.

Selim Benbadis, director for the Tampa General Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, will be attending the program to discuss the number of people epilepsy affects.

“I want to increase awareness of epilepsy, its importance and correct several misconceptions and myths,” said Benbadis.

Also, he will speak about the control of the behavior by medication and some alternative non-medicated procedures, such as a ketogenic diet, vagus nerve stimulation and surgical procedures.

“The surgery is not well known,” Benbadis said. “Yet, I will show that it is safe and effective. I believe some of our patients who had the surgery will be in the audience.”

The first session, which was held Monday, focused on communication between doctors and patients. The session-taught patients can participate more in their own health care, including screening guidelines and exercise.

More than 400 people attended, including 20 to 30 high school students who are interested in becoming physicians. The students are involved in a baccalaureate program at King High School. Although those who participate in the Mini-Med school tend to be older, the information can be used by anyone at any age.

Three physicians will speak about issues such as CAT scans and heart attacks at Monday’s session.

Martin Silbiger, a radiologist, will be speaking about diagnostic imaging and CAT scans. Douglas Schocken, from the Division for Cardiovascular Disease, will speak on heart attacks.

The session will be held at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Louise Lykes Ferguson Hall in downtown Tampa from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information on the USF Mini-Med School: Staying Healthy and State-of-the-Art Health Care call 813-974-3300.