Northwestern Memorial chosen to be featured in first-ever mini-med school TV airing on PBS


Two shows 'Hi-Tech Brain Repair' and 'Lifesaving Heart Repair' offer viewers the unique opportunity to learn from the nation's top doctors; airing on PBS stations across the country in 2005

A chance for television viewers to spend a half-hour learning from two of the world's leading surgeons is the concept behind Mini-Med School TV, which debuts nationally on PBS in 2005. Northwestern Memorial Hospital was selected to be solely featured in the first two episodes, "Hi-Tech Brain Repair" and "Lifesaving Heart Repair."

Mini-Med Schools are educational programs taught at teaching hospital across the country, providing a unique opportunity for the general public to learn from the nation's top physicians just like medical students. First introduced in 1990, today many hospitals have five-year waiting lists for these sessions and they continue to grow in popularity thus inspiring producers at PBS to create Mini-Med School TV.

"The fact that Mini-Med Schools are flourishing and thousands of people across the country are registering, demonstrated to us the public's hunger for medical knowledge. By producing a television version of Mini-Med School, we're able to offer millions of viewers the opportunity to learn from the country's most renowned physicians," explains Marci Rubin, executive producer for Mini-Med School TV.

"Hi-Tech Brain Repair" is hosted by Hunt Batjer, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Professor of Neurosurgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Batjer is an international leader in cerebrovascular surgery, especially renowned for his skill in treating complex aneurysms.

"Lifesaving Heart Repair" is hosted by Patrick McCarthy, M.D., chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, co-director of the Northwestern Cardiovascular Institute, and Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. McCarthy is an internationally acclaimed cardiac surgeon recently recruited to NMH from the Cleveland Clinic to help build the Northwestern Cardiovascular Institute and launch NMH into a new era of heart care.

"Participating in this show was an amazing opportunity not only for NMH, but for me individually. I'm not only a physician and researcher, but also a professor a teacher by nature and it's a dream to be given the opportunity to educate people across the nation through television, the most accessible outlet in the country," said Dr. McCarthy.

"The more we can do to talk about medicine in an interesting, easy to understand, engrossing fashion, the better," adds Dr. Batjer. "Patients today are more involved in their healthcare than ever before; Mini-Med School TV helps provide them with the basic knowledge they crave and makes them feel empowered."

Mini-Med School TV is hosted by Dr. Emily Senay, medical correspondent for The CBS Early Show. Presented by WTTW National Productions, Mini-Med School TV is a production of Premiere Media Productions.

Hi-Tech Brain Repair with Dr. Hunt Batjer (#101)

Dr. Batjer discusses the symptoms and screening techniques of the nation's third leading killer stroke or "Brain Attacks." Through footage of surgery and animation, he takes Mini-Med students through the intricate brain surgery of his patient, Kathy a Chicago area resident who before being referred to Dr. Batjer had undergone an unsuccessful procedure to treat her aneurysms, a form of stroke. In front of the studio audience, Kathy shares her story and discusses her treatments success. Dr. Batjer's lecture also includes a presentation by one of his departmental colleagues, Dr. Robert Levy, who talks about his pioneering work in surgical advances for pain management. His patient, Janice, a chronic migraine sufferer, describes her extraordinary hi-tech treatment with an implantable electronic stimulator and her remarkable recovery.

Lifesaving Heart Repair with Dr. Patrick McCarthy (#102)

Dr. McCarthy describes the workings of the human heart and the symptoms of heart disease. Using footage of surgery and animation, he leads the students through the innovative open-heart surgery of his patient, John, whose doctors in South Bend, Indiana found his case too complex and referred him to Dr. McCarthy. Before the studio audience, Dr. McCarthy and John discuss his recovery. Dr. McCarthy then introduces Doloris, a heart failure patient, and takes the Mini-Med Students through a procedure where she received a cutting-edge device called a biventricular pacemaker, or Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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