Mini-Medical School

NOTICE: March 12, 2020

Mini Medical School Postponed

Based on this week’s recommendation from the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services regarding canceling all indoor gatherings of 100+ people, and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the Mini Medical School Program scheduled for April 4 at College of Marin. The health and wellness of our community is our top priority and we want to ensure that we do our part reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.

Please note the event has been postponed and we will be considering dates/times and formats for future programs. We will keep you posted and as we know more.

On the bright side, this year’s program filled to capacity with a waiting list in record time! We appreciate your interest in Mini Medical School and look forward to having you back on campus.  

Thank you for your continued support of College of Marin and for understanding our decision to postpone.  

Mini-Medical School 2020

Saturday, April 4, 2020
James Dunn Theatre, Kentfield Campus

Featured Speakers

John Maa, MD, Marin General Hospital, Division of General and Acute Care Surgery
John Newman, MD, PhD, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Matt Willis, MD, MPH, Marin County Department of Health and Human Services


What is College of Marin’s Mini-Medical School?

College of Marin's (COM), Mini-Medical School: Medical Science and Aging (MMS) seminars are an opportunity to focus on the second half of life, normal human aging, and avoiding diseases. Relevant topics on the science of aging well are presented by esteemed medical science physicians and researchers, professionals, and educators. Seminar content is appropriate for passionate and curious adults, young seniors and boomers, maturing adults, as well as students and community members of any age who have an interest in the second half of life. Program partners have included top medical school clinical professors as well as respected researchers from Stanford University; University of California, Davis; University of California, San Francisco; and Kaiser Permanente.

The History and Future of General Surgery

Presenter: John Maa, MD

Marin General Hospital, Division of General and Acute Care Surgery, Immediate-Past Chief
San Francisco Marin Medical Society, 2018 President
University of California Office of the President Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program Scientific Advisory Committee, Past Chair


After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1990, Dr. Maa entered Harvard Medical School. He was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army in 1991, and completed the UCSF general surgery residency in 2002. He conceived of the “surgical hospitalist” during a health policy fellowship at the UCSF Institute of Health Policy Studies; this new model for emergency care was implemented at UCSF in 2005. In recognition of these efforts to transform the emergency care system, he was named one of the Top 20 People Making a Difference in Healthcare in America in 2009. To enlighten the health reform debate, he undertook a year-long public policy sabbatical in Washington DC working with members of Congress, Capitol Hill, professional medical organizations, and the media including CNN, CSPAN, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. A series of publications in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and other leading medical journals would lead to his recognition with the Perlman Award for Medical Journalism from the San Francisco Medical Society. He was recognized as both a “San Francisco SuperDoctor” in the San Francisco Chronicle, and “[415] Top Doctor” from Marin Magazine in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, he was elected President of the Northern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and awarded the national Arthur Ellenberger Award for Excellence in State Advocacy.

His current research focuses on reducing the impact of smoking on perioperative surgical outcomes. Dr. Maa serves as the Chair of the University of California Office of the President Tobacco Related Disease Research Program SAC, and practices general surgery at Marin General Hospital. He currently also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association and the San Francisco Medical Society, on the Advisory Board of General Surgery News, and on the Executive Council of the Asian Art Museum.

In July of 2012, Dr. Maa became the first requester of an election recount of a statewide ballot measure in the history of the State of California. He has been involved in each of the subsequent statewide California ballot recounts, and has assisted with both State and National election integrity efforts to strengthen democracy and the security of the ballot box.

The Science of Aging: Bench to Bedside and Back

Presenter: John Newman, MD, PhD

Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Assistant Professor

John Newman, MD, PhD, is Assistant Professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and in the Division of Geriatrics at University of California San Francisco (UCSF). His career goal is to translate our expanding understanding of aging biology to improve the care and help maintain the independence of older adults. Dr. Newman's research at the Buck Institute studies the molecular details of how diet and fasting regulate the genes and pathways that in turn control aging, focusing on the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate and how its molecular signaling activities involving epigenetics and inflammation regulate aging and memory in mice. Dr. Newman is also a geriatrician who cares for hospitalized older adults at UCSF and the San Francisco VA Medical Center, focusing on preserving mobility and preventing delirium. He completed an MD/PhD at the University of Washington, then residency and fellowship training at UCSF. He is an NIA Beeson Scholar.

Coronavirus and Other Emerging Public Health Threats: Protecting Ourselves and Our Community

Presenter: Matthew Willis, MD, MPH

County of Marin, Department of Health and Human Services
Public Health Officer

A Marin native, Dr. Matt Willis has been the County’s Public Health Officer since 2013 and lives in San Anselmo with his wife and three children. Dr. Willis calls on experience as an internal medicine physician, an epidemiologist, and a member of this community to guide public health strategy for Marin.  He is a champion for innovative and highly collaborative approaches to complex public health challenges. He has served in the US Public Health Service as Director of Primary Care on the Navajo Reservation and at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, where he conducted research and outbreak investigations in the U.S. and abroad. He holds a Medical Degree from Temple, and completed a Master’s in Public Health and Internal Medicine residency at Harvard.