Mini Med school sessions for Chilliwack may have life-changing tips

The sessions are Tuesdays at the Cultural Centre. The first one helps people get the most out of their time with the family doc

Dr. Chantal Chris of Chilliwack Division of Family Practice will be leading the first sesssion of the 9th Annual Mini Med School at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre starting on March 7

Dr. Chantal Chris of Chilliwack Division of Family Practice will be leading the first sesssion of the 9th Annual Mini Med School at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre starting on March 7

The 9th Annual Mini Med School offers info sessions starting next Tuesday that could change your life.

The first in the series, ‘How to talk to your Doc’, is on March 7, and will be offered by Dr. Chantal Chris of Chilliwack Division of Family Practice.

“Basically it’s a how-to session on navigating the family medicine system,” she said. “It offers information on how to get the most out of your family physician.”

It’s a popular one that Dr. Chris has led before for various groups.

“People find it quite helpful,” she noted.

It covers how to find a doctor, why appointments are usually 10 minutes, how to book a longer one, and what questions to ask.

The ‘mini med school‘ started in Chilliwack nine years as a family residency project by med students who wanted to educate the masses and give back to the community.

“The goal is to promote health literacy using the template used in some medical schools where professors provide lectures on different topics for lay people,” she said.

With the Chilliwack model, medical residents get crucial experience educating the general public and attendees get access to a physician for an hour and a half.

What the sessions will not be able to accomplish is responding to personal health questions.

Increasing health literacy however can make a “huge difference” in overall health.

“When individuals improve their ability to make decisions about their own health, it can alter their quality of life, or even how long they live,” Dr. Chris explained.

About half of folks are “health illiterate,” meaning without having the knowledge or know-how to find the information they need to make truly informed decisions on their own health.

One of the sessions will tackle a timely topic, the third one on March 21, led by Dr. Marc Greidanus, titled ‘Fentanyl, Addiction and Homelessness: What can we do?’

It will offer information on the opioid crisis, and the success of harm reduction approaches and addiction treatment. The remaining two are about medicine at end of life, and nutrition.

The 9th Annual Mini Med School sessions at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre Rotary Hall, Tuesday evenings March 7-28, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Refreshments and snacks served. Free admission.

Registration encouraged at www.minimedschoolchilliwack.eventbrite.ca or for more details email esayward@divisionsbc.ca