Participants can travel around the world in two evenings during the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s spring Mini Medical School, which will explore issues relating to global health and international medicine.

The Mini Medical School, titled “Bringing Global Health Home,” will be held April 5 and 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. both nights. The school, located at 2 Riverside Circle in Roanoke, will serve as the classroom.

“With growing awareness and concern about worldwide health disparities, we thought it timely to host an event focusing on these and related issues and how they impact health care here at home,” said Dave Trinkle, associate dean for community and culture at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “We will hear from local organizations, faculty members, and some of our students who have traveled internationally and been in the trenches when it comes to global health and international medicine.”

The Mini Medical School kicks off April 5 with a presentation by Thomas Kerkering, professor of medicine at the school and chief of infectious diseases at Carilion Clinic. During his 35-year career, Kerkering traveled internationally to put his expertise to work. One of his notable global health-related projects was Ebola work for the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone in 2014.

Kerkering’s presentation, “What is Global Health,” will provide attendees with an introduction to the topic as well as current issues in the field. He will be followed by a series of short presentations by local organizations that are engaged in international medical outreach and education. These will include: TEAM Malawi, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church’s Haiti Project, Orphan Medical Network International, Second Presbyterian Church, Kimoyo Ltd, and Global Health Educators.

Students outside Wonju College of Medicine
Fourth-year students from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine pose outside Yonsei University in Wonju, South Korea in 2016. The students spent a month at the Wonju College of Medicine.

On the second night, April 12, the Mini Medical School will feature a presentation by Trinkle and Cynda Johnson, dean of the school of medicine, on the school’s international rotation program for students and how it fulfills the school’s mission to train the next generation of physician thought leaders.

International study prepares students and health care providers to have a world view in this global age where cultural diversity is the norm and better equips them for their work. The school currently has nine established medical education partnerships in seven countries around the globe with three sites located in Roanoke’s Sister Cities – Florianopolis, Brazil; St. Lo, France; and Wonju, South Korea. Fourth-year students who recently returned from clinical medicine electives in Brazil, France, and India will give lively presentations about their experiences. A reception will follow.

Registration for the spring Mini Medical School is $10 for both nights. Registration is required by visiting

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Contact Carrie Knopf at with questions.

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