Mini med school

Learning the ABCs of osteopathic medicine

As part of NOM Week, the AOA hosted a mini-medical school to educate second-graders about preventive medicine.


March 2 was no ordinary day for students at Lafayette Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Rather than reading, writing and arithmetic, children learned the basics of bone health, personal hygiene and nutrition.

As part of National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) Week, held March 1-7, the AOA hosted a mini-medical school to educate second-graders at the elementary school about preventive medicine.

During the event, 10 DOs and two osteopathic medical students assisted pint-sized participants as they navigated six health stations, each using hands-on activities to educate kids about health and fitness.

While learning about bone health, children viewed real X-rays. While studying medical instruments DOs use to treat patients, students practiced using stethoscopes and reflex hammers to “treat” their classmates.

Before leaving, DOs and osteopathic medical students presented each child with a mini-medical school gift bag containing a certificate of completion, workbook and pedometer.

Across the nation

Washington, D.C., wasn’t the only site of a mini-medical school this spring. Several osteopathic medical schools also hosted their own in March and April.

On March 3, osteopathic medical students at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa., organized mini-medical schools at three local elementary schools.

During the next two weeks, students and faculty at the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, Tenn., hosted mini-medical schools in Harrogate and Sharps Chapel, Tenn.

On March 24 and 26, students from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine-Bradenton in Florida hosted mini-medical schools at Nolan Middle School and Braden River Middle School in Bradenton.

That same week, students at the Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colo., hosted a mini-medical school on campus for children with sickle cell anemia and their siblings.

In April, student doctors at the Pikeville (Ky.) College of Osteopathic Medicine organized a mini-medical school on campus for fourth-graders. In addition to viewing X-rays and learning about nutrition, children practiced “suturing” stuffed bears.

Log on, learn more

The AOA has compiled a collection of resources that groups in the profession can use to plan mini-medical schools. Found on, the mini-medical school toolkit includes planning guides, station scripts, press release templates and customizable marketing materials.

AOA members can learn more by logging onto the password-protected area of to view the OPAN section.

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