Mini Medical School

Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove

Register Today!

Mini Medical School is a four-week medical education program open to anyone in the community interested in personal and public healthcare issues. It is an opportunity to learn about topics discussed in medical school.

Each lecture is presented by a health care professional at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois. Midwestern University is the home of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Chicago College of Pharmacy, the College of Health Sciences, and College of Dental Medicine-Illinois.

Mini Medical School welcomes students from the community of all ages (adult, college, and high school) who are interested in learning about interesting and important healthcare topics.

Dates and Topics:  FALL 2016

Sessions will be held on Mondays:  October 17, October 24,  November 7 and November 14th (no session on Halloween)

Each session starts at 6:30 p.m. and will end by 8:15 p.m.

October 17, 2016  

Cancer: Why and how good cells go bad. 

In this lecture you will learn how cancer is a result of malfunctions in normal cellular mechanisms that regulate cell division. We will talk about changes that occur at the DNA level such that gene functions are altered to serve cancer growth.  Cancer originates in a single cell which then gives rise to a progeny of cells with multiple genetic alterations. Each time a cell divides, there is a chance of mutation, and therefore, there is always a low background risk for cancer.  A far more prevalent cause of cancer is environmental exposure.    

Featured speaker: Nalini Chandar, Ph.D. Dr. Chandar is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry in the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. In addition to teaching Biochemistry to students at Midwestern University, her research interests are in the area of Cancer Biology studying molecular genetics of osteosarcomas and the role of tumor suppressors in tissue differentiation. She has been the recipient of several research grants from the National Institutes of Health.  She joined Midwestern University in 1995. She received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Madras.  

October 24, 2016

The Diabetes Epidemic

Diabetes Mellitus is a condition that affects the body's ability to use glucose for metabolism (energy). Patients affected with Type I diabetes do not have insulin, which is needed to use a glucose molecule to produce ATP that is then used for cellular function. Patients with Type II diabetes have insulin; however, their body becomes resistant to this hormone's action. In severe cases, the body is starving since it cannot use glucose efficiently and thus must rely on fat and protein to generate energy. The physiology of the human body is truly remarkable. The osteopathic medical student learns to treat patients using a "holistic" approach, one that encompasses not only treating the disease, but also treating the person. Join Dr. Poustinchian as he discusses the diabetes epidemic, and the healthcare practitioner's approach to this ailment.

Featured Speaker: Brian Poustinchian, DO, FACP, FACOI

Dr. Poustinchian is a 2010 alum of CCOM having completed residency at Rush University Medical Center and John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County. He holds a faculty appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Midwestern University and serves as Course Director of Physical Exam Skills for first year CCOM students. Dr. Poustinchian practices as the Hospitalist Medical Director at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in the western suburbs of Chicago.  

November 7, 2016

Cranial Nerves: What they do and what happens when they don't.

Humans have a set of 12 nerves that arise directly from the brain (not the spinal cord like all other nerves) and control a wide range of functions throughout the body, including most of our senses. In this lecture, we will explore all 12 cranial nerves and learn how to test their functions through a hands-on approach. Cases with specific cranial nerve damage will be examined in order to showcase what happens when one (or more) cranial nerves are compromised. Participants will also have a chance to visit the Gross Anatomy Lab following the presentation for further engagement with both cranial and post-cranial anatomy.

Featured Speaker: Steven F. Miller, Ph.D. Dr. Miller is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy in the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University. He teaches anatomy and histology to a wide range of health care professionals including medical, dental, and physical therapy students. Dr. Miller's research focuses on both normal and abnormal craniofacial growth and variation with a particular interest in malocclusion and cleft lip and palate. His training is in Biological Anthropology, with a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.  

November 14, 2016

Dental Curriculum for the Modern Dentist  

This presentation will focus on the novel integrated curriculum that is being used for the education of the modern dental student at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine- Illinois. The group will then move to the second floor dental simulation clinic to continue the presentation with a hands-on demonstration of a simulated patient and a demonstration of the dental equipment that is used to prepare the dental student for the clinical treatment of patients. A presentation highlighting our clinical facility will also be included.  

Featured speaker: Dr. Gary Drahos is an Associate Professor at the MWU College of Dental Medicine since it admitted its first class in 2011. He previously maintained a private dental practice in Chicago and a position on the faculty of the University Of Illinois College Of Dentistry. He is also a registered pharmacist and has a Master's Degree in Health Law from Loyola University.


All sessions will be held at the Downers Grove campus at 555 W. 31st Street. Free parking is available. Visit Google Maps for directions.


The cost for the four-week program is $25. Participants are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. Sign up today.

Need more information?

Call 630/515-7421 and ask for Renee, or e-mail us at