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How's your mental health during this pandemic? Perhaps you will want to check in with Dr. Yellowlees next Saturday....

Dear Friends,

Oh my, yes, we are pretty much all stressed by this long term pandemic.  There is a saying that you should be nice to people because you do not know what burdens they are carrying...... a message that is twice as important during this public health crisis.

What to do?

Well, one thing you can do is to tune in to the UC Davis Mini-Medical School each Saturday.  This is such a special gift from the University to the public, it cannot be overstated how wonderful it is!  

Over the years, I have attended a couple of times and am back at it this year.  Next Saturday, Dr. Yellowlees, a psychiatrist is going to talk about mental health during a pandemic.  I'm confident it will be an excellent talk.

Below you can see the schedule for the whole series.  The sessions given have been recorded and are available.  Upcoming ones will be recorded as well.  They start at 9 a.m. Saturday morning and go to about 11:15. You have to sign up on line to join the class, the class is free, and you can ZOOM from the comfort of your home (or wherever).  

I STRONGLY recommend you check these out.  And thanks again to UC Davis for offering this wonderful resource to the community!

Best regards,


classAll sessions begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at around 11:15 a.m. 
First speaker presentations begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 10:00, inclusive of questions. Second speaker presentations begin at 10:10 a.m. and conclude at around 11:10 a.m., inclusive of questions. There will be a slide show (and possible exercise video shorts) during the 10 minute break between the first and second presentations.
Click to download 2021 class schedule (PDF)

Saturday, February 6, 2021


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Saturday February 27, 2021

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Saturday, March 13, 2021

The Mini Medical School webinar begins on 2/6/2021 at 9:00 a.m. PST. Only registered students will be able to access the Mini Medical School webinar page. We strongly encourage you to log in 15 minutes early, familiarize yourself with the website, and settle into your seat at home with your coffee cup and computer glasses. An array of cartoons and factoids streaming across the screen will keep you entertained during the pre-class minutes.

Inclusive of questions, the first presentation will end at 10:00 a.m., after which there will be a 10 minute break, during which you can refill your coffee cup, and enjoy intermission entertainment. The second lecture will begin at 10:10 a.m. and end about 1 hour later. This same schedule will be observed on all 6 Saturday mornings that the Mini Medical School is in session.

2021 Mini Medical School Faculty

Over the first half of the 2021 Mini Medical School we will be taking a deep dive into the COVID-19 pandemic. We begin with an introduction to virology and immunology by Dr. Sumathi Sankaran-Walters, recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award from the School of Nursing. The second speaker is infectious disease specialist Dr. Dean Blumberg. Dr. Blumberg is well known for his many interviews with local media outlets and his prescient Mini Medical School presentation last February on what was then referred to as “The Novel Coronavirus.” Dr. Blumberg will speak about COVID-19 prevention strategies, and introduce us to immunization options. The third presenter is Dr. Nam Tran, a laboratory medicine professor and member of Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 Testing Task Force. Dr. Tran will review the many obstacles to COVID testing that our nation has experienced over the last year, and educate us about the pros and cons of the many COVID tests that are commercially available. The fourth lecturer will be Dr. Stuart Cohen, the dedicated & tireless Chair of the Division of Infectious Disease and Medical Director of the Department of Epidemiology and Infection Prevention at UC Davis Health. Dr. Cohen will be speaking about treatments for COVID, what works, what doesn’t work, and any late-breaking information about vaccination options. The fifth lecture will be by Dr. Michael Ziccardi: wildlife biologist, veterinarian and director of the interdisciplinary One Health Institute at UC Davis. Dr. Ziccardi will educate us about how the virus that causes COVID jumped from wildlife hosts to humans, and how to predict/mitigate the risk of future pandemics. The next talk will be given by Dr. Peter Yellowlees, endowed Chair of Psychiatry and Chief Wellness Officer at UC Davis Health. Dr. Yellowlees is a wise physician with a soothing speaking style who will suggest ways that we might better cope with COVID and the social isolation many of us are now experiencing.

The second half of the program will address the health ramifications of recent and equally compelling non-COVID news headlines. The first speaker on 2/27/2021 is Dr. Aimee Moulin of the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry/Behavioral Health. Dr. Moulin’s area of expertise is opioid addiction, a scourge that continues to affect individuals, families, and communities across the United States, and an epidemic leading to landmark litigation against pharmaceutical companies and distributors. Next we’ll hear from Dr. Hendry Ton, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UC Davis Health. Dr. Ton will explain why racism as a public health issue will review the strong evidence of racial inequity in health outcomes. On 3/6/2021, the first speaker is Hepatology and Hepatitis C expert Souvik Sarkar, MD, Ph.D. Although you may have missed this headline, the 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three co-discoverers of Hepatitis C, of which one attended UC Davis (Aggie Pride!). Screening for Hepatitis C is recommended for all persons older than 18 years, and Dr. Sarkar will educate us about why this is so. The second speaker on 3/6/2021 is Dr. Kent Pinkerton, Director of the UC Davis Center for Health and the Environment. Dr. Pinkerton’s research focus is on effects of environmental air pollutants on respiratory, cardiovascular and neurologic structure and health. Dr. Pinkerton will educate us about the health hazards of wildfire smoke.

The Mini Medical School concludes on Saturday morning, 3/13/2021, with a joint presentation on “Healthy Aging in a Digital World” by two esteemed faculty emeriti, Dr. Thomas Nesbitt and Dr. Heather Young. Dr. Nesbitt spent most of his career researching and implementing telehealth programs so that the reach of specialty medical care could be extended into rural and other underserved communities. Dr. Nesbitt is the Founding Director of the Center for Health and Technology, and the Emeritus Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Technologies and Alliances at UC Davis. Dr. Young is the Founding Dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and has dedicated her clinical and research career to improving health care for the elderly. Drs. Nesbitt and Young are friends and colleagues who previously delivered a presentation on this topic. I viewed it and it was wonderful! They are delving more deeply into this topic for the Mini Medical School class of 2021, so we can count on an engaging and inspirational closing presentation!

Dean Blumberg, M.D.
Chief, Pediatric Infectious Diseases
UC Davis Children’s Hospital
UC Davis Health

Stuart Cohen, M.D.
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases
Medical Director
Department of Epidemiology and Infection Prevention
UC Davis Health

Aimee Moulin, M.D.
Department of Emergency Medicine
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
UC Davis Health

Thomas S. Nesbitt, M.D., M.P.H.
Emeritus Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic
Technologies and Alliances
Founding Director, Center for Health and Technology
UC Davis Health

Kent Pinkerton, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine
Professor, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology
School of Veterinary Medicine
Director, Center for Health and the Environment 
Director, Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
UC Davis

Sumathi Sankaran-Walters, MBBS, Ph.D.
Associate Adjunct Professor
School of Medicine
Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing 
UC Davis Health

Souvik Sarkar, M.D., Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor
Director of Fellow Research
Gastroenterology and Hepatology 
Department of Internal Medicine
UC Davis Health

Hendry Ton, M.D., M.S.
Associate Vice Chancellor
for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion     
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences      
UC Davis Health

Nam K. Tran, Ph.D.  
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Department of Laboratory & Clinical Medicine 
UC Davis Health

Peter Yellowlees, MBBS, M.D.
Chief Wellness Officer 
Allan Stoudemire Endowed Professor of Psychiatry
UC Davis Health

Heather M. Young, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Founding Dean Emerita
Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
National Director, Betty Irene Moore Nurse Fellows in
Leadership and Innovation Program

Michael Ziccardi, DVM, M.P.V.M., Ph.D.
Executive Director, One Health Institute
Director, Oiled Wildlife Care Network
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine



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