Tag Archives: education

Med school without the studying

Have I mentioned yet how much I’m loving my new job? Six weeks down! Check out our Drake Relays Square:


Even though I’ve lived just up the street from Des Moines University for years, I’m just now discovering how many cool programs the school offers for the community.
I don’t want you to miss out! Even out-of-town readers can get in on #1.

Here are 7 ways to engage with DMU without studying:


1. Take DMU’s free, online medical terminology course. Learn some medical jargon and your next trip to the doctor will be less intimidating/dramas like “House” will be even more fun to watch. The course is also available in Spanish. Get started.

2. Register as a body donor. Many of us don’t think twice about signing the back of our driver’s license to signify our intentions as an organ donor. That’s a fantastic, ultimate gift. Did you know you can also register as a body donor so that future doctors can learn from you? I was out to lunch with my friend Deb the other day and she flashed me her DMU body donor card, which was near. Campus holds a memorial for body donors annually, too, which is coming up. (More info here.)

3. Mark your calendar for Mini Med School. This five-week public program in late winter presents interesting topics in healthcare. I’ll be responsible for it next year, so you can bet I’ll post some reminders and details about 2015 topics. (More info here.)

4. Make an appointment at the Clinic. If you move to a new city as an adult, the process of selecting a healthcare provider can feel daunting. Did you know the DMU Clinic offers comprehensive family medicine services, all in the same building, just a hop and skip from downtown. In addition to family medicine, there’s also a running and cycling clinic, and physical therapy offers pilates and yoga and other services.

5. For the kids: Girls in Science or Exploring Post 141. Girls in Science is an annual opportunity for “tween” girls to explore careers in medicine. There’s typically a waiting list! For high school boys and girls, we have Exploring Post 141, which meets Tuesday evenings twice a month during the school year for lectures and hands-on activities covering a variety of professions. I got to see the group practice scrubbing in like surgeons earlier this month.


6. I’m also in the midst of planning for summer Jumpstart, a chance for K-12 students in the metro to receive free school physicals. DMU students, faculty and local physicians all volunteer their time to help out. This year’s event is Saturday, July 26. We need LOTS of volunteers, so if you want to help out at registration or as an interpreter, there are lots and lots of non-medical jobs, too. Details here.

7. Senior Health Fair. This year’s event will be Saturday, November 1. We have dozens of vendors and lots of health screening opportunities on campus for seniors. Best part? It’s free! DMU also has a SHIIP program (Senior Health Insurance Information Program) that provides confidential service of the State of Iowa that helps Iowans make informed decisions about Medicare and other health coverage. 

8. Friend and follow DMU. To keep up with campus happenings (there are a LOT! The other weekend we hosted an LGBT health conference, a health fair for people with disabilities and a healthy cooking class through Des Moines Community Education), and to read some of our University magazine stories and features on the awesome people in the DMU community, “like” DMU on Facebook. DMU is on twitter @desmoinesuniv, too.

P.S. Des Moines University trains more than future doctors. There are nine degree programs: osteopathic medicine, anatomy, biomedical sciences, podiatric medicine, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, post-professional physical therapy, public health (<– which is an online program) and health care administration.

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Filed under I love Des Moines

Birdies for Education

Months before I got my new job (and months before I had any inkling I’d be joining the Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation), I made a confession to my now boss. We were at a brainstorming meeting for TEDxDesMoines, and we were talking about topics that we should try to cover with our speaker selection. The conversation moved toward education.

“I didn’t vote in school board elections!” I blurted out. I felt guilty because here I was, participating in a discussion on education reform and the state of our school system, and I wasn’t really even engaged in what was going on in Des Moines.

Education, for many young professionals, is one of those issues that — unless you’re a teacher — we just sort of push out of focus until we start families. We might vaguely think about the quality of surrounding schools when we purchase a house, but it’s not a priority. Even though the quality of education in our communities directly impacts so many other elements — from crime rates to the state of the economy. (Huge shoutout to all of the teachers in my life!)

Gotta love outtakes from pictures of 6th graders!

I won’t stand on this Saturday morning soap box for too long, because I will be the first to admit that I have A LOT to learn about the education system. But I will share a link to the new Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation blog I’ve been working on, so you can get a better sense of the organization I work for.

If you feel compelled, you can donate to IHAD through “Birdies for Charity” and your giving will be amplified by a 25% match. This is a fantastic way to support an organization that is transforming the lives of at-risk kids and jumping into conversations about how to lower the dropout rate in our community and break the cycle of poverty for families.

Now, back to Saturday morning cartoons!

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