July Meeting Recap: Infectious Disease!

July’s meeting of The Ladder brought together medical scholars of all ages to the UROC in North Minneapolis to learn about infectious disease. In addition to learning about different varieties and causes of infectious disease, we learned about those folks in medicine & healthcare who play roles in helping prevent and treat infectious disease, and conduct research that informs everything we know about infectious diseases.

bugs

Scholars learned about a variety of diseases caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites, as well as how some diseases are spread and prevented.

laptopLearning

Medical scholars participated in an exercise to illustrate how some infectious diseases are spread by physical contact. In this exercise all scholars received test tubes filled with clear liquid, but one scholar’s test tube contained a special, but invisible, substance (a liquid with a pH greater than 7.0 – no actual infectious diseases were involved!!!). Scholars then exchanged small amounts of fluid from their and a few others’ test tubes:

exchange

 

Each scholar’s test tube was then treated with an indicator (in this case, a substance called phenolphthalein that turns pink in base solutions), and everyone whose test tube was “infected” by the fluid with high pH turned bright pink:

infected2

 

Scholars were able to see that just one infected individual can spread infection to many others (yikes!) but they also learned that the spread of many diseases can be prevented by measures as simple as hand-washing and covering sneezes and coughs.

Join us for next month’s meeting of the Ladder – a Society of Medical Scholars ages 9-99. Our next meeting is August 9th (always the second Saturday of the month – even over the summer!) and open to all ages. You’ll have a lot of fun, get a free lunch, and probably even learn something in the process! We meet at the UROC building (2001 Plymouth Ave N) in North Minneapolis.

“Lift as you Climb, Build as you Grow”

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Next Meeting of The Ladder – July 12th: Infectious Disease!

They’re everywhere…all around you…on you…in you…no – we’re not being paranoid or conspiracy theorists – we’re talking about microorganisms (or microbes for short!)! And by microorganisms we mean critters like bacteria, viruses, yeasts – all the beasties that are microscopic (unable to be seen without extreme magnifying tools). Some microorganisms play roles in keeping you healthy (hi there Lactobacillus acidophilus!), some of them can lead to causing illness or diseases (looking at YOU Salmonella and influenza!).

microbes

At July’s meeting of The Ladder you’ll have the opportunity to learn all about bacteria, viruses and infectious diseases. You’ll learn about good microbes and not-so-good microbes, how microbes are studied, viewed and discovered, as well as what roles different microbes play in medicine and health.

So join us for the next opportunity of medical fun and learning on Saturday July 12th at 12:30pm at the UROC building (2001 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis) – lunch will be provided! The UROC building is reachable by Metro Transit bus routes 19, 32 & 7.

Have a bulletin board or wall-space for info-posting? Print this off and post! Curious about what the Ladder is all about? See for yourself!

The Ladder is a Society of Medical Scholars ages 9 to 99. Meetings are every second Saturday of the month.

A Scholar Reads,
A Scholar Listens,
A Scholar Teaches and,
A Scholar Learns.

Service Learning, Leadership Development, and Progressive Mentorship

 

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June Meeting Recap: ENT Medicine & Physiology

At June’s meeting of the Ladder, medical scholars gathered for food, fun and learning about ENT (ears/nose/throat) medicine and physiology!

Medical scholars ranging from young to veteran!

Medical scholars ranging from young to veteran!

First, while sharing lunch in small groups, medical scholars introduced themselves to one another and spent some time sharing perspectives on a couple of particularly relevant thoughts from Maya Angelou and Martin Luther King, Jr. :

Maya_MLK

After lunch, medical scholars had the opportunity to learn about the physiology and interconnectedness of the ear/nose/throat, as well as about a number of tools and techniques for examining these areas of the body. Here medical scholars demonstrate use of otoscopes for viewing the ear canal:

Medical scholar Christopher demonstrating use of an otoscope

Medical scholar Christopher demonstrating use of an otoscope

Another aspect of ENT function scholars learned about is the sense of smell and how integral it is to the sense of taste:

Medical scholars testing their senses of smell on mystery items

Medical scholars testing their senses of smell on mystery items

At another station, scholars learned some ways to test hearing, including use of tuning forks for something called the Weber test:

Medical scholar Tekya demonstrates the principle of the Weber test for hearing using a tuning fork

Medical scholar Tekya demonstrates the principle of the Weber test for hearing using a tuning fork

Rounding out our overview of ENT medicine was a station covering physiology and function of the throat: specifically the vocal cords and their appearance, how they work & what occurs when they get inflamed or irritated. Here, scholars learn how vocal cords are a lot like rubber bands, where their tone/sound is analogous to rubber rands of different sizes/density stretched over plastic cups:

Learning about function & physiology of vocal cords

Learning about function & physiology of vocal cords

We cover a lot of ground in two hours, and have a lot of fun and socializing in the process! See for yourself and join us for next month’s meeting of the Ladder – a Society of Medical Scholars. Our next meeting is July 12th (always the second Saturday of the month – even over the summer!) and open to all ages. You’ll have a lot of fun, get a free lunch, and probably even learn something in the process! We meet at the UROC building (2001 Plymouth Ave N) in North Minneapolis.

“Lift as you Climb, Build as you Grow”

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Next Meeting of The Ladder – June 14th: Ear/Nose/Throat Medicine & Surgery

Otolaryngology. Say what? Try oh-toe-lare-in-gol-oh-jee. Also known as ear/nose/throat medicine, or just ENT for short. The field of medicine encompasses not only some of the longest, most tongue-twisting, Latin & Greek-rooted terms you’ll ever have to hear/read/pronounce, but also plenty of impressively tidy abbreviations. Ear/nose/throat medicine has all the phenomenal cosmic power of four different Greek words and three parts of the body bundled into “otolaryngology,” but is able to be conveniently shrunk into the itty-bitty-living-space of “ENT.”

At June’s meeting of the Ladder you’ll have the opportunity to learn all about ear/nose/throat medicine and surgery, including why ENT medicine comes as a package deal. You’ll learn about different ear/nose/throat problems and how they are diagnosed, as well as what kinds of surgical & non-surgical procedures can be done to fix those problems.

So bring bring your ears, nose, throat & a friend to the next opportunity for medical fun and learning on Saturday June 14th at 12:30pm at the UROC building (2001 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis) – lunch will be provided! The UROC building is reachable by Metro Transit bus routes 19, 32 & 7.

Have a bulletin board or wall-space for info-posting? Print this off and post! Curious about what the Ladder is all about? See for yourself!

The Ladder is a Society of Medical Scholars ages 9 to 99. Meetings are every second Saturday of the month.

A Scholar Reads,
A Scholar Listens,
A Scholar Teaches and,
A Scholar Learns.

Service Learning, Leadership Development, and Progressive Mentorship

 

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May Meeting Recap: Bones!

Saturday’s meeting of the Ladder saw a great turnout of medical scholars ages 9-99 (and even a few younger!) on a beautiful sunny Spring day in North Minneapolis to share lunch, connect with each other, learn, and (never to be overlooked) have fun!

THIS is the Ladder!

THIS is the Ladder!

This month’s meeting was all about bones: the function they serve in the body, what bones go where, diagnosing and fixing problems with bones, and the medical helpers involved in helping with bones:

Who are some of the helpers? Nurses, EMTs, physicians, pharmacists, radiologists, surgeons, sports medicine docs…just to name a few!

We began by sharing lunch in smaller groups where we introduced ourselves and shared our thoughts on two different quotes medical scholar Renee asked us to consider:

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

Nobody can hurt me without my permission ~ Gandhi

After lunch we rotated through four workstations where we were able to see what bones look like up close and learn how the skeletal system is named and fits together:

Medical scholars putting human bone models in the correct skeletal configuration

Medical scholars putting human bone models in the correct skeletal configuration

Medical scholar Ahlea getting an up-close look at a human skull model

Medical scholar Ahlea getting an up-close look at a human skull model

…how bone breaks, infections and cancers are diagnosed and treated:

How can this injury happen?

How can this injury happen?

…have further opportunity to practice naming and placing bones in the correct places in the body:

Where do all these bones go?

Where do all these bones go?

…and discussed some of the ways to “get there” on goals of becoming a nurse, physician or other healthcare helper:

Discussing how to get there.

Discussing how to get there.

We pack tons of fun and learning into two hours! See for yourself and join us for next month’s meeting of the Ladder – a Society of Medical Scholars. Our next meeting is June 14th (always the second Saturday of the month – including over the summer!) and open to all ages. You’ll have a lot of fun, get a free lunch, and probably even learn something in the process! We meet at the UROC building (2001 Plymouth Ave N) in North Minneapolis.

“Lift as you Climb, Build as you Grow”

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Next Meeting of the Ladder – May 10th: Bones!

What do you know about bones? You probably know you have a whole lot of them, and that without them you’d have a pretty rough time doing much of anything.

So many bones, so little time...

So many bones, so little time…

At the next meeting of the Ladder we’ll learn all about bones – how they work, what can happen when they don’t, and what kinds of healthcare folks and tools can help fix bone breaks and other bone problems. And we’ll talk about how YOU TOO can have a future in medicine & healthcare and how to go about getting there!

So bring bring your bones, yourself and a friend to the next opportunity for medical fun and learning on Saturday May 10th at 12:30pm at the UROC building (2001 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis) – lunch will be provided! The UROC building is reachable by Metro Transit bus routes 19, 32 & 7.

Have a bulletin board or wall-space for info-posting? Print this off and post! Curious about what the Ladder is all about? Check us out!

The Ladder is a Society of Medical Scholars ages 9 to 99. Meetings are every second Saturday of the month.

A Scholar Reads,
A Scholar Listens,
A Scholar Teaches and,
A Scholar Learns.

Service Learning, Leadership Development, and Progressive Mentorship

“Lift as you Climb, Build as you Grow”

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April Meeting Recap: “Asthma! And Asthma.”

Saturday’s meeting of the Ladder was all about asthma – or as medical scholar Renee put it: “Asthma! And Asthma.” Punctuating asthma with both a “!” and “.” was to teach us about asthma not only as an acute condition which needs to be addressed immediately when it occurs (!!!!!), but also as a condition which medical folks can help you control and manage to reduce the !!!!! kinds of asthma incidents.

Asthma! And Asthma.

Asthma! And Asthma.

We learned that asthma describes an overreaction of the immune system where airways in the lungs (bronchioles) get inflammed, causing them to narrow and over-produce mucus (aka “lung snot!”) – making it really hard to breathe. Asthma can be caused by exposure over time to things that irritate the sensitive lining of the lungs, making them hypersensitive to what are called “triggers” such as pollen, pollution, cigarette smoke and pets, to name a few.

Here medical scholar Toporis demonstrates his understanding of the difference between healthy bronchioles and bronchioles that are inflammed and swollen:

ToporisRenee

Healthy vs. inflammed bronchioles

To help us all get a handle on normal lung function, medical scholar Andie provided balloons to demonstrate a simple but effective way of visualizing how much air the lungs can hold:

Measuring lung capacity

Measuring lung capacity

Showing how useful technology and computers are in giving medical professionals tools to help diagnose conditions like asthma, medical scholars Andie and Renard demonstrate the use of spirometry to measure lung capacity and flow of breathing:

Spirometry

Spirometry

We also learned about the sleuthing and knowledge that medical professionals use to figure out whether a patient who comes in for help with lung problems is experiencing asthma, some other condition (like pneumonia), or maybe even both at once:

Diagnosing asthma

Diagnosing asthma

Back to that notion of “Asthma! And Asthma,” we learned about types of medicines like rescue inhalers and Epipens that can be used to treat severe asthma when it happens (!!!!!), as well as asthma medications called controllers that are taken daily to keep inflammation down and airways open to keep severe asthma attacks from happening as often.

Can’t believe we can cram so much fun AND learning into just a couple of hours? See for yourself and join us for next month’s meeting of the Ladder – a Society of Medical Scholars ages 9 to 99. Meetings are the second Saturday of every month and open to anyone and everyone. You’ll have a lot of fun, get a free lunch, and probably even learn something in the process! The next meeting is May 10th at the UROC building (2001 Plymouth Ave N) in North Minneapolis.

“Lift as you Climb, Build as you Grow”

 

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