Mini Medical School leaves big impact

In 2016, Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine held its first Mini Medical School to help the general public become acquainted with its curriculum and medical faculty. Led today by co-director Oscar Aylor, with support from the Community and Global Health and Health Policy Departments, Mini Medical School continues to welcome members of the community to Campbell Medicine for instruction on basic and clinical science topics taught by real faculty members.

Snow Bowden, town manager of Erwin, North Carolina, was one of the 30 Mini Medical School attendees who “graduated” from this session on May 1. Though it was his first time participating, Bowden praised the quality of the program.

“The level of commitment and compassion that each of these faculty members bring to the subject matter blows me away. They are completely committed and invested in the program,” he said.


Bruce Newton, chair of the anatomy department, teaches Mini Medical School’s anatomy course every year, focusing on the brain and how it is affected by strokes. He also elaborates on neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and drug addiction. “It’s important for me to communicate complex ideas in elegant ways. Lecturers also need to truly enjoy audience participation,” he added.

Some lecturers give Mini Medical School attendees an inside look at their day-to-day work, like the Department of Simulation Medicine. In their clinical education course, attendees experience the 9,000 square foot Simulation (SIM) Center in unique ways by learning hands-on simulated exercises and interacting with high fidelity manikins that replicate an emergency room environment, intensive care unit crisis or even a birthing delivery with “Mama Noelle.”


Recognizing attendees come from various professional backgrounds, Aylor and his team have to work hard to curate lecture topics that keep the curriculum engaging. The syllabus includes six sessions with course topics ranging from management of obesity and diabetes to an understanding of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM). In the future, participants will have the opportunity to visit the Anatomy Lab where medical students will present various cadavers.

“We have an audience that is very diverse both in terms of age and background knowledge, so we have to create a curriculum that is going to have something in it for everyone,” Aylor said.


Participating in Mini Medical School at Campbell Medicine has impacted the lives of attendees in different ways. Janice Arnold, owner of Shear Genius Hair Salon and member of the Lillington Chamber Board, said the program helped her appreciate the complexity of the human body as well as the amount of preparation and training needed to become a doctor.

The program has also increased the amount of respect Ms. Arnold has for Campbell Medicine and its community engagement, “Campbell medical students come from all over to be at this school. It’s clear why. The School puts considerable resources behind making this program a success and making sure it improves health awareness in the community,” she said.

Pat Barker, a member of Campbell University’s Presidential Board of Advisors since 2007 and long-time donor, said the program has not only empowered her to make more informed health decisions, but has also allowed her to advocate for friends and family.

Aylor is also proud of the program’s impact on health awareness. “Information is taught that helps attendees understand why and how a medical school was created at Campbell. They complete Mini Medical School with feeling better-informed when they go talk to their physician and the importance of primary care; they understand how the medical curriculum is structured, and how Campbell Medicine is improving the distribution of primary care providers in North Carolina and the Southeastern region.”