8:30 – 9:00: Registration

9:00 – 9:15: Welcome

9:15 – 9:30: Break

9:30 – 10:40: Session I

10:40 – 10:55: Break

10:55 – 12:05: Session II

12:05 – 12:50: Lunch

12:50 – 2:00: Session III


The Courses

Paging Dr. Gadget

Instructors: Stanford Biodesign fellows
Ever see a device or invention and think to yourself, “I could’ve thought of that,” or “I can make this better?” You’re not alone – Stanford’s Biodesign Program is full of future inventors who are constantly thinking of ways to re-invent technology to improve medicine and patient care. During this session, you’ll shadow a biodesign fellow and see what it takes to cultivate an idea from the ground up. You’ll identify clinical needs, brainstorm in small groups and deliver your best ideas during a presentation.

So you wanna go to med school?

Instructor: Charles Prober, MD
Six thousands applicants, 86 spots. Getting into med school is almost like competing for a spot on “The Voice.” Becoming a doctor is a long, challenging – and rewarding – process, and there are many steps involved in preparing for, applying to, and making it through medical school. So what does getting into medical school take? What does becoming a doctor entail? During this session, you’ll find out from a senior associate dean what medical schools look for when selecting future physicians and what life is really like for a future doc.

The brain whisperer: Using electrodes to find out what parts of the living human brain are really doing

Instructor: Josef Parvizi, MD, PhD
In order to learn what goes on inside the living brain, you have to listen in on it and follow its activity. But this isn’t always easy. The billions of nerve cells that sit in the brain resemble tangles of electrical wires that may bunch up in clusters (sort of like the tangle of wires coming out of the power strip behind your bed), carrying signals from one cluster to another. Because the brain is enclosed inside a thick skull, scientists have usually had to make do with brain-monitoring techniques that capture electrical or magnetic signals at a distance. In this session, learn how Dr. Parvizi and his colleagues use a technique called intercranial recording to record the electrical activity in specific regions of the brain. As a result, we know exactly, for example, which part of the brain recognizes other people’s faces, which part recognizes the numerals we use for everyday arithmetic, and which part is involved in our recall of what we ate for breakfast this morning.

Chasing the elusive sheep of sleep

Instructor: Rafael Pelayo, MD
Sleep. We all do it, but do we really understand it? This course will get you up to speed on what researchers know about this amazing – and necessary – function. You’ll explore what happens in your brain while you’re in the various stages of sleep and while you’re dreaming, and you’ll learn about sleep walking, insomnia and what happens when you’re deprived of sleep – like an estimated 47 million Americans. The class is taught by one of Stanford’s leading sleep docs who's been working with some local schools to coach teens about the issues and encourage them to adopt better sleep habits.

Living well with chronic pain

Instructor: Beth Darnall, PhD
Did you know that more than half the adults in the country live with chronic pain-- that’s about 126 million people. And what’s the most common type of chronic pain? Back pain. When we think back pain, we think of elder citizens or maybe specific conditions. But don’t be fooled - back pain is the number one pain condition for a number of reasons. Aging, obesity, activity levels, and even posture can all trigger back pain.  The fact is, everyone experiences back pain at some point in their lives. During this session, Stanford clinical psychologists Beth Darnall will discuss how she works with chronic pain sufferers to find alternative means to controlling their pain.

Food allergies: Nothing to sneeze at

Instructor: Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD
Peanuts, bananas, milk - you probably know someone who is allergic to these or other kinds of foods. An estimated 6 million children in the United States suffer from food allergies, and nearly 40 percent have experienced a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock. During this session, Stanford scientist Kari Nadeau will discuss her efforts to desensitize children by having them eat daily doses of the foods they're allergic to.

Ommmmm: Using yoga and mindfulness to combat stress and manage emotions

Instructor: John Rettger, PhD

Managing stress and making healthy choices is a daily struggle for many of us. But what if way back in elementary school we had learned resiliency skills and mind-body practices to cope with anxiety, reduce incidents of bullying and violence, and boost our concentration? Would this kind of training and mindfulness awareness help us combat stress, manage our emotions and live healthier lives? Researchers at the Stanford University Early Life Stress and Pediatric Anxiety Program think so. During this session, learn just how powerful mindfulness meditation and yoga can be!

Top (Healthy) Chef: Learning to love the foods that will love us back for a lifetime

Instructor: Maya Adam, MD

You’ve heard it a million times: eating right is important. Fruits, vegetables and well balanced meals are good for you. We all know this on some level, but knowing that eating right is important and actually eating right are two different things. Maya Adam, MD, has put together a short presentation that combines nutrition instruction with a more hands-on demonstration of how to put that knowledge to good use in the kitchen. So wash those hands and grab those aprons, because eating right and cooking right are one in the same. Dr. Adam teaches courses at Stanford on child health and nutrition and how to prevent diet-related diseases through healthful cooking and eating. She is also the author of Food Love Family: A Practical Guide to Child Nutrition

Global aid: It’s a small world after all

Instructors: Colin Bucks, MD, and Brandon Bond
Disasters and disease can strike anywhere, anyone, at anytime. Typhoons, earthquakes, and threats of diseases like Ebola and Zika, are just some examples of when countries abroad needed some extra help. Members from the Stanford Emergency Medicine Program for Emergency Response (SEMPER) have provided medical aid to typhoon survivors in the Philippines, earthquake victims in Haiti and Nepal, and Ebola patients in Liberia. During this session, you’ll get a first-hand account from one of the emergency docs who traveled to Liberia, as well as a member from the hospital's Office of Emergency Management and learn about the importance of helping other countries and assembling a team that can mobilize immediately in response to a global disaster.

Talkin' teen health

Instructor: Sophia Yen, MD, MPH

Let's be honest: no one really understands what being a teenager is like unless you're right in the middle of it. Adults scratch their heads and teens become even more frustrated with them...and that's just the social stuff. Medicine is a whole other story. Good thing we have people like Stanford’s Sophia Yen, MD, an adolescent medicine specialist at the Teen and Young Adult Clinic at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Teenagers definitely aren't little kids, but they're not full-out adults either, and the kind of medical attention young adults need is unique. 

Hard knocks: The growing concern over brain injuries

Instructor: Anand Veeravagu, MD
As chief neurosurgery resident at Palo Alto's Veterans Affairs Hospital, Anand Veeravagu has cared for many soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries. But American’s soldiers aren’t the only ones suffering from TBIs. Kids hit their heads – and they do so frequently. Whether it’s sports or just kids being kids, the rate of brain injury is on the rise. During this session, you’ll learn about brain injuries from both the battlefield and the playing field. Dr. Veeravagu also served as a former White House fellow/special assistant to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Seeing under the skin

Instructor: Adam de la Zerda, PhD

Stanford scientist Adam de la Zerda has figured out a way of looking at tissues, cells or even individual molecules in real time under the skin of living animals. He uses gold nanorods that move to the cells or molecules he wants to watch, and those nanorods are visible through the skin using a special microscope. During this session, learn about how he hopes to be able to watch as individual cells break free from a tumor and travel the bloodstream to another location, or to understand how blood vessels form in the eye in a type of blindness called macular degeneration. His technique is the first time scientists have been able to watch these otherwise invisible processes take place in real time!

E-cigarettes, Vape Pens, E-Hookah: What you need to know

Instructors: Judith Prochaska, PhD, MPH and Robert K. Jackler, MD, Principal Investigator, Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising (an ear doc who studies tobacco ads – go figure!)

E-cigarettes, vape pens, and e-hookah: the fun of smoking without all the risk? Nope. While these devices may be less harmful than traditional cigarettes, that really doesn’t say much (what isn’t less harmful than cigarettes?!). E-cigarettes and similar devices still contain harmful chemicals (many are in those candy and spice flavorings), and most contain nicotine, which can addict the brain. And check this out, guess who are the top makers of e-cigarettes? BIG TOBACCO. This session can help you get a better grasp on just what those electronic nicotine delivery devices are and what effect they may have on you (and your friends). 

Virtual anatomy: Slice and dice on a life-sized iPad

Instructor: Sakti Srivastava, MD
This cool tool takes the “gross” right out of anatomy! During the session, you’ll get a chance to see how a life-sized iPad is giving medical students an innovative, high-tech approach to exploring and learning about the anatomy of the human body. Get up close and personal with the human body with a swipe of a finger –no scalpels or human cadavers needed

SUNSPORT: Teaming up to prevent cancer

Instructor: Susan Swetter, MD

Here at Stanford, we pride ourselves on our athletic prowess. There are tons of athletic opportunities and events in the warm California sun. However, it’s also important to be aware of the many dangers of sun exposure, especially for outdoor athletes. That’s what SUNSPORT is here for. Stanford’s SUNSPORT program is the first program in the nation to provide sun-exposure education and protection strategies to outdoor athletes and fans who spend extra time in the sun. After all, if you want to enjoy the California sun, you might as well be safe!

You are getting very sleepy: Exploring the science of hypnosis

Instructor: David Spiegel, MD

Believe it or not, hypnosis is legit. We’re not talking about swishing a pocket watch in front of someone’s eyes to make them do crazy things. Hypnosis is actually a super focused, trance-like state that allows someone to become intensively aware of the present moment. Better yet, it’s a real, effective practice! Just ask Stanford’s David Spiegel, MD. In this class, Dr. Spiegel will tell you about his research on hypnosis, and how it can be a great method for pain management and even treating anxiety and stress-related disorders.  

Frugal science: Discovering the world through the lens of a 50-cent microscope

Instructor: Saad Bhamla

We can’t deny that microscopes are fun to work with. How can you say “no” to a device that allows you to see small objects like mineral samples or animal or plant cells at one hundred times their original size? But microscopes aren’t without their flaws: they’re heavy, expensive, and haven’t changed very much at all over many decades. Now imagine all those problems totally gone. That’s what you get with Foldscope, a low-cost (costs only 50 cents!), completely functional microscope built purely from folding paper, and the brainchild of Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash, PhD. With Foldscope, you get the opportunity to discover the world and share those images with a community of "citizen scientists."


If you have questions, please contact

Please note: Med School 101 is an invitation-only event. Please register only if you have been instructed to do so by your teacher.

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