First-Year Selectives Course Descriptions

Academic Year 2015-2016

« Back to First Year


The following courses are available for enrollment for the upcoming academic year. Any courses that do not meet the minimum enrollment (noted below) will be cancelled, and students enrolled in the course may select a replacement. Dates are subject to change.

Basic science selectives

Developmental Biology and Disease

Description: Explores connections between basic research in developmental biology and disease.

Course Master: Kerry Kornfeld, MD, PhD Contact Information Biography
Minimum number of students: 1
Maximum number of students: 38
Dates/Time: Session IV, 3:15-5:15 pm. 4/4, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9
Location:
FLTC 301 A/B

Frontiers of Leukemia

Description: Hematopoietic research is rapidly and in some cases dramatically changing the clinical management of patients with leukemia.  Most notably, the development of Imatinib, a drug specifically designed to inhibit the bcr-abl oncogene, has fundamentally altered the way we treat patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and next-generation sequencing has changed the way we understand leukemia classification and evolution.  The objective of this course is to introduce students to scientific investigation in the molecular basis of human leukemia.  We will focus on how research is advancing our understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of this group of diseases.  Specific topics will include acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, and the preleukemic syndromes, severe congenital neutropenia and myelodysplastic syndromes.

Course Master: John Welch, MD, PhD
Minimum number of students: 5
Maximum number of students: no limit
Dates/Time: Session III, 3:15-4:45 pm. 1/4, 1/11, 1/25, 2/1, 2/18, (2/15 cancelled), 2/22, 2/29, 3/7
Location:
Southwest Tower 7th Floor, Rm 728

MS I Journal Club

Description: This course is a journal club for WUMS I students led by WUMS II students. Thus, it will focus on teaching and learning from peers. The material covered will be completely dependent on student input and participation. We expect that over the course of the selective, students will become more comfortable with reading primary literature and presenting a scientific “story” in an engaging and coherent way.

Each week, 1-2 students will be expected to prepare a presentation and lead the discussion about a paper of their choice published in a peer-reviewed journal. The goal of the discussion will be to provide a brief overview of the field, introduce the experimental system and any new experimental techniques, dissect the scientific rationale, and discuss the experiments presented. Students not presenting will be expected to review the selected paper and prepare for the discussion by reading any background material selected by the presenter.

The first class meeting will have an example presentation given by WUMS II students. We will also discuss guidelines for paper selection.

Course Master: Koong-Nah Chung, PhD
Minimum number of students: 9
Maximum number of students: 18
Dates/Times: Sessions i and II, 4-5 pm. Session 1: 9/14, 9/21, 10/5. Session II: 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/16, 11/23, 11/30, 12/7
Location: FLTC 302 A/B

Simulations in Cardiovascular Physiology

Description: The five sessions conducted in our Howard & Joyce Wood Simulation center include scenarios that provide students clinical correlates for 1) preload (based on following a trauma patient with on-going hemorrhage), chronotropism (based on following a patient with cardiac rhythm disturbances), inotropism (a patient with congestive heart failure) and myocardial oxygen supply and demand relationships (a patient with chest pain and myocardial ischemia).

Course Master: David Murray, MD
Minimum number of students: 20
Maximum number of students: 40
Dates/Times: Session II, 3-5 pm, 11/10,  11/16, 11/17, 11/30, 12/1
Location: FLTC, 5th Floor Simulation Center

Simulations in Respiratory Physiology

Description: Using full scale electromechanical mannequin, the course will explore the relationships between FIO2, pAO2, paO2 and O2 saturation in the healthy patient and in various respiratory conditions.  The course will address a variety of concepts that such as oxygen therapy, apnea and disorders of acid-base balance using interactive scenarios.

Course Master: David Murray, MD
Minimum number of students: 20
Maximum number of students: 40
Dates/Times: Session III, 3-5 pm. 1/11, 1/12, 1/25, 1/26
Location: FLTC, 5th Floor Simulation Center

Clinical science selectives

Clinical Correlations in Neurosciences

Description: This selective consists of opportunities to shadow a variety of physicians in the neurosciences, (including adult or pediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, neuroradiologists, neuropathologists) and attend hospital rounds and neuroscience conferences.

Course Master: Allyson Zazulia, MD
Minimum number of students: 3
Maximum number of students: 20
Dates/Times: Session IV, 3:15-4:30 pm. 4/5 – will only meet on the first Tuesday of the selective (students are expected to attend at least 3 other events, one of which is shadowing.  Shadowing is generally for a half-day at a minimum. Conferences are generally an hour.
Location: FLTC 301 A/B

Delivering Health Care to Underserved Patients in St. Louis

Description: The goal of this course is to teach students about healthcare resources that underserved patients in St. Louis can realistically access. Students will have five in-class sessions to learn the structure and key players of the “St. Louis safety net,” as well as two shadowing opportunities to observe the work that health care providers do with underserved patients. In class sessions will include guest speakers representing different components of the “St. Louis safety net.”  Students will have an opportunity to work closely with the St. Louis Integrated Health Network (IHN), whose mission is to strive for quality, accessible, and affordable healthcare services for all residents of Metropolitan St. Louis, with an emphasis on the medically underserved and uninsured. The IHN is designed to address systemic barriers and create innovative solutions to the region’s safety net health care system through programmatic and collaborative quality initiatives that are derived from its strategic plan.

Course Master: Will Ross, MD, MPH
Minimum number of students: 5
Maximum number of students: 15
Dates/Times: Session III, 5-6:30 pm. 1/12, 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9
Location: FLTC 203

Hands-on Autopsy

Description: This course will provide students with the chance to see and participate in an autopsy from beginning to end, including gross dissection, organ cutting with a pathology attending, and, if the students wish, microscopic evaluation of the organs. Although most medical students never see an autopsy, these students become residents who are expected to consent bereaved family members to this procedure. Witnessing an autopsy will help students understand the autopsy process and make them better prepared to answer questions about autopsy in the future.

In addition to any clinical benefit students will receive for the future, participating in an autopsy after completion of the first-year gross anatomy course will allow students to see the correlation between an academic endeavor and its application in a medical setting. Do not misunderstand, though; autopsy is nothing like your gross anatomy course.

Course Master: Danielle Carpenter, MD
Minimum number of students: 4
Maximum number of students: 10
Dates/Times: Session III and IV, 4-5 pm. Mandatory dates: 1/12, 4/12, 5/10. Flexible autopsy experience: 1/26, 2/23, 3/8, 4/26
Location: FLTC 202 for initial meeting. Subsequent: West Building, Autopsy Suite, First Floor

Improving Healthcare

Description: The American healthcare system is staggeringly inefficient.  Despite investing nearly 20% of our GDP, the United States ranks dead last in key health outcomes in a recent study of 17 high-income countries. Further, preventable medical errors are conservatively the sixth leading cause of death nationwide. Hospitals care is opaque and leaves many patients unengaged and dissatisfied with their treatment. The purpose of this selective is to equip the students with a set of tools to analyze and improve healthcare delivery.  Drawing on the experiences of high reliability industries like aviation and manufacturing, we will examine the different factors affecting the quality of care and lessons we can apply to eliminate preventable errors and infections.  Further, students will learn and practice different methodologies for process improvement. We will cover making care transparent and ways to better involve families in care. Topics covered include systems and workflow design, health IT, human factors, culture of safety and standardized communication strategies.  Students will also attend one morbidity and mortality conferences offered by departments in the hospital as part of this selective.

Course Master:Thomas Ciesielski, MD
Minimum number of students: 6
Maximum number of students: 15
Dates/Times: Session IV 4-5 pm. 4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 4/26, 5/3, 5/10, 5/17
Location: FLTC 212

International Health

Description: This class is an excellent opportunity to prepare for a summer abroad through FIHTM, or for a 4th year away rotation. Speakers include WUSM faculty who are Global Health leaders and others who have incorporated international healthcare in their practice and/or research – from surgery (e.g., ophthalmology, neurosurgery, ENT, ob/gyn), and anesthesiology, to emergency medicine and pediatrics. It will help you explore different avenues for adding an international component to your career and to meet and be inspired by WUSM’s Global Health heroes.  Other topics usually include how to protect your health while abroad; malnutrition, plumpy’nut and the future of food; eliminating lymphatic filariasis; healthcare in Haiti and Guatemala; ethics of research in a global setting, and challenges of HIV treatment in the era of effective therapy. Students (WUSM II and WUSM IV) will also present their experiences administering healthcare and doing research abroad. This course was first offered in 2004.

Each meeting will begin with a presentation by Washington University faculty followed by class participation and discussion. The faculty are interviewed after their presentations in the Actor’s Studio format so that we can understand the path that took them to global health. Students will come away with a broader appreciation of core issues in international health.

Course Master: Cynthia Wichelman, MD, FACEP
Minimum number of students: 16
Maximum number of students: 40
Dates/Times: Session III, 3:15-5 pm. (1/19-cancelled), 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23, 3/1
Location: FLTC 202

Introduction to Anesthesiology

Description:  This course aims to provide an introduction to Anesthesiology appropriate for first year students. The course will be taught through a combination of lectures, ICU shadowing, and simulation center exercises. The topics discussed will include the role of an Anesthesiologist in the OR, ICU, and pain management service. Students will be taught the basic mechanisms of different types of anesthesia and why each is used clinically. Students will have the opportunity to apply that knowledge through exercises in the simulation center and through ICU shadowing. The course seeks to provide a comprehensive introduction to a career in Anesthesiology and hopes to spark student interest. Summer research opportunities will be available for students in the course.

Course Master: Julianne Donnelly, MD
Minimum number of students: 10
Maximum number of students: 20
Dates/Times: Session II, 4-5:30 pm. 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/1
Location: FLTC 212

Introduction to Clinical Neurosurgery

Description: The objective for this selective course is to expose students to the various fields of neurosurgery. Students attend Film/Case Management conferences and Grand Rounds. There are nine sessions for the semester: two case management conferences, two Grand Rounds and five discussions. Students (discussion leaders) are assigned to relevant literature to present. Discussion dates and discussion leaders are chosen at the introductory meeting. The course also exposes students to tools they can use in critical reading of medical literature. We supplement the course with a cadaver lab experience at the end of the selective.

Course Master: Gavin Dunn, MD
Minimum number of students: 5
Maximum number of students: 25
Dates/Times: Session III, 5-6:30 pm. 1/5, 1/12, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 3/1, 3/8
Location: McMillan, 5th Floor

Introduction to Emergency Medicine I

Description: Over six sessions we will review the physiology and clinical management of common emergencies: cardiovascular emergencies; trauma resuscitation and shock; environmental emergencies, such as high altitude cerebral edema and snake bites; pediatric emergencies; gynecological and urological emergencies; and toxicological emergencies. Each session will include a lecture followed by case studies that highlight critical aspects of a patient’s history, physical examination, laboratory and radiological studies, as well as procedural intervention and pharmacological treatment. Group participation is encouraged.  This class has received the “Selective of the Year” award.

Course Master: Cynthia Wichelman, MD, FACEP
Minimum number of students: 15
Maximum number of students: 50
Dates/Times: Session II, 3:15-5 pm. 10/27, 11/3 (start time: 3:30), 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/1
Location: FLTC 302 A/B

Introduction to Emergency Medicine II

Description: This class is a second session on emergency medicine (in response to student requests!) exploring topics not covered in the fall session. Although it would be beneficial to take the Introduction to Emergency Medicine-01 course offered in the fall, it is not a pre-requisite for this class. Six sessions will review the physiology and clinical management of abdominal emergencies, ophthalmic emergencies, obstetric emergencies, endocrine emergencies, neurologic emergencies, such as stroke, renal and orthopedic emergencies, and environmental emergencies, such as lightning and hypothermia. Each session will include a lecture with case studies that highlight critical aspects of a patient’s history, physical examination, laboratory and radiological studies, as well as procedural intervention and pharmacological treatment. Group participation is encouraged. This class has received the “Selective of the Year” award.

Course Master: Cynthia Wichelman, MD, FACEP
Minimum number of students: 12
Maximum number of students: 42
Dates/Times: Session IV, 3:15-5 pm. 4/5, 4/12 4/19, 4/26, 5/3, 5/10
Location: FLTC 302 A/B

Introduction to Newborn Medicine

Description: The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction into neonatal medicine not otherwise offered in the first-year curriculum.  Students will review embryology and functional organ system development and correlate normal physiology with pathologic conditions in newborn infants.  Students will have the opportunity to work with clinical specialists, observe in both the delivery room and neonatal unit, and interview and follow patient families.

The course is designed to allow students to discuss both the physiologic and psychosocial aspects of neonatal medicine as well as gain a better understanding of the collaborative nature of neonatal care.

Course Master: Joanie Rosenbaum, MD; Jagruti (Jagu Anadkat, MD
Minimum number of students: 7
Maximum number of students: 10
Dates/Times: Session II, 3:15-4:30 pm. 10/20, 10/27, 11/3 (start time: 3:30), 11/10, 11/17, 11/24*, 12/1, 12/8. Physical exam sessions and L&D Observation TBA
Location: St. Louis Children’s Hospital NICU, West Conference Room, 5th Floor

Introduction to Surgery

Description: This Clinical Selective offers an overview of surgical training and of various surgical specialties.  Faculty members from the following surgical specialties participate: General Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Oncologic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Urologic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and Acute/Critical Care Surgery.  One session is led by WUSM surgery residents.  One session is a basic suturing/knot-tying workshop.  Most discussions include professionalism/ethics challenges associated with the specialty.

Course Master: John Kirby, MD
Minimum number of students: 15
Maximum number of students: 30
Dates/Times: Session III, 4:15-5:30 pm. 1/12, 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23, 3/1
Location: Wohl Hospital, 9th Floor, Department of Surgery Butcher Conference Room

Medical Spanish

Description: Learn basic medical Spanish terms to help when working with Spanish speaking patients.

Course Master: Marcos Rothstein, MD
Minimum number of students: 5
Maximum number of students: 30
Dates/Times: Session III, 4-5 pm Wednesdays, 3-4 pm Thursdays. 1/6, 1/13, 1/20, 1/27-IPE, 1/28, 2/3-IPE, 2/4, 2/10, 2/17-IPE, 2/18, 2/24, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16
Location: FLTC 201

Olin Grand Rounds

Description: The course provides an introduction to the current business issues facing the health care field. This course was first offered in 2006 and has become a popular course for undergraduates and the MBA’s. More medical students should take this class! The information is invaluable for any person pursuing a career in medicine or in the health care sector of business. This class focuses on the business of medicine with business case study discussion, complemented with several clinical patient presentations. Topics covered usually include health care reform; healthcare systems comparisons from the United Kingdom to Germany, from France to Japan; the insurance industry; concierge medicine; department compensation distribution in practices and academic departments; analysis of walk-in clinics (ie Walgreens); medical malpractice: mental health care and cost to society; organ transplantation and the rationing of healthcare; marketing of pharmaceuticals – including research and development of AIDS drugs; care to the underserved – sickle cell anemia – a patient’s perspective; management of Medicaid; the business of cosmetic surgery and private ophthalmology practice, local biotech start ups, to name a few.

The final grade is based on the following: Four out of six case study write-ups are required (done in groups), plus a group project presentation (usually partnering with a key company in the health care industry). The final is a take home case study write-up done individually. The rest of the grade pertains to participation and attendance.  Medical students are all graded P/NP.

Course Master: Cynthia Wichelman, MD, FACEP
Minimum number of students: 1
Maximum number of students: 80
Dates/Times: Session I and II, 6:15-9:15 pm. 9/14,  9/21,  9/28, 10/5, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/23, 11/30; 8/31 (optional but encouraged), 10/12 (optional field trip)
Location: Olin School of Business, Washington University Danforth Campus

Comments: To better understand what is covered and what other medical students who completed the course said, here are some of their comments:

“The material in this course is highly relevant to anyone working in healthcare. The lecture-style based learning was a highly effective way of sharing this critical information with students. I wish there was a ‘Part II’ and ‘III’ to the course, so that I could continue to learn about the financial component of healthcare in the U.S. Also, the class involved a lot of group work with several other M1’s, and these discussions were highly beneficial to my own learning/understanding of the concepts taught in class. Overall, one of my favorite courses of the semester.”

“I thought many students were unwilling to take this course because its A) so many more hours than other selectives, B) off campus, and C) there is homework. Olin Grand Rounds exposed me to so many leaders in healthcare both in St. Louis and nationally. I had the opportunity to hear so many perspectives on health care reform, biotechnology, business/entrepreneurship, etc. that I would not have otherwise. I truly think that this is a course that all medical students would tremendously benefit from!”

“I think that the only downfall of the course is how few M1’s elect to the take it. This is clearly due to the amount of work involved in the course compared to the other selectives. The five M1’s who did take the course all enjoyed it and didn’t think it was too much work. Many students were put-off by the amount of course hours, but it was totally worthwhile and very fascinating!”

“Amazing course! All medical school students should take a class like this.”

Public Health

Description: As a Washington University medical student, present during the nascent stages of public health reform in St. Louis, you will be in a unique position to put your personal stamp on a leading public health issue. Our goal is to provide you with the fundamental tools needed to assess, implement and evaluate community-based public health programs that address some of the leading health indicators in St. Louis. You will learn to engage the community in a meaningful and substantive manner, knowing that you can make an impact during your tenure in medical school. In the past students have elected to focus on asthma in the inner city, lead toxicity, childhood obesity, STDS, or health literacy. This year, your student coordinators have decided to focus on Mental Health and Trauma-Informed Care. Unquestionably, you will find tremendous community receptivity to your interests and energies as you immerse yourself in grassroots approaches to improve a community’s health by reducing youth violence.

This course syllabus provides useful materials to jumpstart your plunge into public health.

In this abbreviated survey course we will focus mainly on the history of public health, especially as it pertains to the St. Louis region, chronic disease epidemiology and the social determinants of health, and the behavioral and sociological factors contributing to youth violence. References and resources will be provided for students who desire more extensive exposure to other public health disciplines. Upon completing this selective the student should have the skills and background to acquire information needed to apply public health principles to address a critical public health issue in the St. Louis community.

Course Master: Will Ross, MD
Minimum number of students: 5
Maximum number of students: 20
Dates/Times: Sessions I and II, 5:15-7:15 pm. 9/21, 10/5, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2
Location: FLTC 302 A/B

Saturday Neighborhood Clinic – A Lesson in Healthcare Management

Description: This course offers an introduction to health administration, policy, and economics as they relate to medical care for the underserved. Using Washington University’s student-run Saturday Neighborhood Health Clinic as a case study, students will learn how to run a free clinic, from daily clinic flow to patient follow-up to informed quality improvement; explore the landscape of healthcare services available to uninsured adults in the St. Louis area as well as the SNHC’s relationship with these providers; and begin to unpack the structural and political complexities of health insurance. With this toolkit, students will assume responsibility for running the day-to-day operations of the SNHC. Participation in this selective entails full involvement in the SNHC organization.  In addition to required course hours in the fall, students will be expected to coordinate Saturday and Wednesday clinics at least five times over the course of the full academic year and assist the current Board with ongoing projects. If you do not get a spot in the selective, you can still volunteer at the clinic and apply for a 2016-2017 Board position; however you will not be able to coordinate at the clinic. If you have any questions about the selective or its requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact Radhika Jain at radhikajain@wustl.edu.

Course Master: Will Ross, MD
Minimum number of students: 5
Maximum number of students: 16
Dates/Times: Sessions I and II, 5:15-7:15 pm. 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/20, 10/27, 11/17
Location: FLTC 202

SPOTS – Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Medical Students

Description: Medical students will be trained to teach secondary school students about skin cancer and sun protection.

The medical student will be taught how to identify basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma skin cancers. He or she will learn the causes, risk factors, and treatment of skin cancer.  Additionally, students will be trained in hands-on demonstrations of sun protection products and methods, learn alternatives to tanning, and learn to use a skin analyzer machine.  Students will be taught strategies for reaching and teaching teens, and learn theories of behavioral science and communication in order to understand patient’s motivations/behaviors and how to encourage them to change.  Finally, students will teach a medical subject out in the community before their clinical year, and attend two evening (two hours each) training sessions to learn above.

The 85 minute SPOTS program consists of

  • Teaching one 20 minute lecture on early detection of skin cancer showing a 14 minute video (local teens with melanoma telling their stories and a simple mole removal done by a Mohs surgeon)
  • Teaching a second 20 minute lecture on prevention and protection, giving out brochures, handouts and worksheets
  • Helping the teens to use a skin analyzer machine, a prepared PowerPoint lecture with a written script will be given to each medical student.  SPOTS medical student teachers will receive a SPOTS t-shirt (to wear as their uniform when teaching and then keep), and teach in pairs four times (may teach two times on the same trip).

Medical students can teach SPOTS on a volunteer basis (non-elective, no credit) to add to their CV. Attending the training sessions is required.

For more information visit the SPOTS website.

Course Master: Laurin Council, MD
Minimum number of students: 5
Maximum number of students: 30
Dates/Times: Session II, 5-7:30 pm. 10/21 (6-8:30), 10/28 (5-7:30pm). Presentations occur through February
Location: FLTC 302 A/B

Terminal Illness and Death

Description: In this seminar we will examine such topics as:

  • Psychological, social, and professional responses to terminal illness and death;
  • Communicating bad news to patients and family members;
  • Grief and bereavement;
  • Palliative and hospice care and physician assisted suicide.

Teaching sessions will include a discussion with practitioners and/or patients and family members, and will rely heavily on student participation.

Course Master: Ellen Binder, MD
Minimum number of students: 8
Maximum number of students: 16
Dates/Times: Session IV, 3:15-4:45 pm. 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/6, and also one home hospice visit
Location: FLTC 201

Humanities selectives

Art and Medicine

Description: The intersections between art and medicine are numerous, and the study of one field is complementary to the other.  The primary objective of this course is to explore visual learning and enhance observational skills of participants.  Through several exercises, we will explore how we see, what we see, and how we interpret these images.  We will examine how observation affects our diagnoses and how it influences interactions with patients.  We will investigate how visual inspection is important in medical fields.  St. Louis has several excellent collections, and sessions will meet at a selection of the following: the St. Louis Art Museum, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

Course Master: Carrie Coughlin, MD
Minimum number of students: 4
Maximum number of students:10
Dates/Times: Session III, 3:30-5 pm. 1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18
Location: Various local galleries and museums

Doctors on Film

Description: This course will explore the relevant social themes of films in which physicians and/or the medical profession are the main focus.  There are countless portrayals of physicians in the cinema.  There are also many films that deal extensively with various features of health care delivery.  For good or for bad, viewers of these films outside our profession are strongly influenced by these portrayals.  Common stereotypes are perpetuated—“If it’s in the movies there must be some truth to it.”  Depictions of physicians and major medical themes have evolved with time and under the influence of social and scientific developments.  The course will investigate these depictions and themes using a selection of films (from the classic era to more modern films) to provoke thought and discussion.  Some discussion of film craft is also included.  Emphasis is given to older movies, 1940s to 1970s.  Those not interested in film craft or classic films should consider these latter points very carefully.  The essence of this selective is the collective group experience of watching the movies and the discussion that follows.  Some of the films are not readily available for rental or purchase and lending of the VHS tapes or DVDs is not practical.  For these reasons, attendance at 5 of the 6 sessions is required (all students must attend the introductory session). Each session will run from 3:15PM to 4:55PM (1 hour 40 minutes).

Course Master: Tom De Fer, MD
Minimum number of students: 4
Maximum number of students: 18
Dates/Times: Session III, 3:10-5 pm. 1/27-IPE, 2/3-IPE, 2/10 (3:30-5:10), 2/17-IPE, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16, 4/6, 4/13
Location: FLTC 301 A/B

Health and Human Rights

Description: There is a strong belief among many physicians that our responsibilities extend beyond our individual patients to our communities, countries and even to our entire world. This humanities selective is an excellent forum for interested students to actively learn and discuss the impact of human rights violations on health. Topics include reproductive and pediatric health rights, communication issues and interactions with interpreters. Each meeting will consist of a brief presentation and a discussion on the topic. There will be a different presenter for each topic. Readings will be provided.

Course Master: Kim Carmichael, MD
Minimum number of students: 10
Maximum number of students: 15
Dates/Times: Session III, 5-6:30 pm. 1/6, 1/13, 1/20, 1/27-IPE, 2/3-IPE, 2/4, 2/10, 2/24
Location: FLTC 202

Introduction to the History of Medicine

Description: This is a survey course on the history of medicine, concentrating on the contributions of some of the major figures in the historical development of medicine. The objectives will be to explain how medical science developed from antiquity to the 20th century. The figures to be discussed are as follows:

  • Week I – Ancient Medicine:  Hippocrates and Galen
  • Week II – The Beginnings of Modern Medicine:  Andreas Vesalius and William Harvey
  • Week III – Great Developments in Internal Medicine:  René Laennec and Ignac Semmelweis
  • Week IV – The Rise of Pathology:  Giovanni Morgagni and Rudolf Virchow
  • Week V – The Development of Modern Surgery:  The Discovery of General Anesthesia and     Joseph Lister
  • Week VI – Medical Science in America:  William S. Halsted, Helen Taussig and Alfred Blalock

Course Master: Robert Feibel, MD
Minimum number of students: 6
Maximum number of students: 12
Dates/Times: Session I and II, 3:30-5 pm. 9/9, 9/16, 9/24, 9/30, 10/8, 10/14
Location: Becker Medical Library, 6th Floor

Major Epidemics in the History of Medicine

Description: Points to be emphasized include the world-wide effects of such epidemics (bubonic plague), the discovery of vaccination and the ability to completely eradicate a major disease (small pox),  the importance of insect vector diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever, as well as the emergence into the developed world of new insect-carried diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya, venereal disease, and epidemics of modern times such as influenza and AIDS.  Most of the diseases to be discussed are still prevalent, and patients suffering from these diseases will be seen and treated by the medical students during their medical career.

  • Week I – The Black Death:  Bubonic Plague
  • Week II – Smallpox and Vaccination
  • Week III – Insect-Carried Diseases:  Malaria and Yellow Fever
  • Week IV – Tuberculosis and Syphilis
  • Week V – Modern Epidemics:  Influenza and AIDS

Course Master: Robert Feibel, MD
Minimum number of students: 6
Maximum number of students: 12
Dates/Times: Session III, 3:30-5:30 pm. 1/6, 1/13, 1/20, 1/27-IPE, 1/28, 2/3-IPE, 2/4, 2/10, 2/24
Location: Becker Medical Library, 6th FLoor

Major Religious Traditions and Healthcare

Description: Major Religious Traditions and Healthcare is a course that introduces 1st year medical students to the religious and cultural diversity of patients they will serve, how religious practices can influence care plans and resources, such as healthcare chaplains that will enhance their ability to understand and engage the patient’s and families religious/spiritual traditions in such a way that they will contribute to the goals of care.

Course Master: Vic Trogdon, BCC
Minimum number of students: 6
Maximum number of students: 15
Dates/Times: Session III, 3:15-4:45. 1/11, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22
Location: FLTC 201

Medical Discovery and Progress from War

Description: As long as history has been recorded, human societies have physically attached each other for various reasons.  As destructive as wars have been, military history has played important roles in improving treatment of trauma, sanitation, drug development, and the understanding of many aspects of medical science.  This selective will consider medicine from United States military and national history in the following areas:

  • Week I – The Early Frontier, 1800-1850:  William Beaumont, the first American medical researcher
  • Week II – The Civil War; The beginning of a national medical library; Scurvy and Naval Medicine
  • Week III – The Spanish-American War: Walter Reed and Yellow Fever; The First World War:  Neurosurgery and Neurology of Cerebral Trauma
  • Week IV – The Second World War:  Antibiotics and Blood Transfusion
  • Week V – From Shell Shock to PTSD:  The History of Psychotraumatology

Course Master: Robert Feibel, MD
Minimum number of students: 6
Maximum number of students: 12
Dates/Times: Session IV, 3:30-5:30 pm. 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/4
Location: Becker Medical Library, 6th Floor

Medicine and Poetry

Description: Poetry is a vital art form that carries power in small packages. In this selective, students will read, write and reflect on poetry related to medicine, suffering, and healing. While there will be a didactic component, we will primarily focus on the meaning and message of poetry rather than analyzing structure and form. In a constructive and collaborative environment, students will explore their future role as physicians and the experience of patients through poetry.

Course Masters: Colleen Wallace, MD; Bryan Sisk, MD
Minimum number of students: 3
Maximum number of students: 8
Dates/Times: Session III, 4-6 pm. 1/6, 1/13, 1/20, 1/27-IPE, 1/28,  2/3-IPE, 2/4
Location: FLTC 203

Music and Medicine

Description: Music and medicine reflect one another in several fascinating ways.  During this selective, we will examine several facets of this interaction, including how illness is depicted in music, how diseases influenced famous musicians and their works, and the work-related injuries seen in Performing Arts Medicine.  15 students will participate in this highly interactive 6-session course which will include lively discussions, listening sessions, and demonstrations.

Physician Writers: Introduction to Reflective Writing
Description: (8 Students) From Anton Chekov to Atul Gawande, Arthur Conan Doyle to Abraham Verghese, John Keats to Khaled Hosseini, physicians have a long and interesting history of writing.  Historically most physician writers have produced works of poetry, philosophy, or fiction.  In the last 20 years a new type of physician writer has emerged in the genre of creative non-fiction.  One form of creative non-fiction rapidly increasing in popularity, especially in medical schools, is called Narrative Medicine, and is thought to help students and physicians improve in everything from self-assessment to quality improvement and to reduce “compassion fatigue.”

In this course we will start with a look at the current world of physician writers, then move to learning about the world of narrative medicine.  One way we will explore these topics is by in-class writing assignments that we share with one another.

Course Masters: Steven Cheng, MD, Dave Windus, MD
Minimum number of students: 1
Maximum number of students: 15
Dates/Times: Session III, 4-5:30. 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25
Location: FLTC 201

Physician Writers: Introduction to Reflective Writing

Description: From Anton Chekov to Atul Gawande, Arthur Conan Doyle to Abraham Verghese, John Keats to Khaled Hosseini, physicians have a long and interesting history of writing.  Historically most physician writers have produced works of poetry, philosophy, or fiction. In the last 20 years a new type of physician writer has emerged in the genre of creative non-fiction. One form of creative non-fiction rapidly increasing in popularity, especially in medical schools, is called Narrative Medicine, and is thought to help students and physicians improve in everything from self-assessment to quality improvement and to reduce “compassion fatigue.” In this course we will start with a look at the current world of physician writers, then move to learning about the world of narrative medicine. One way we will explore these topics is by in-class writing assignments that we share with one another.

Course Masters: Sarah Strange, MDMinimum number of students: 3
Maximum number of students: 8
Dates/Times: Session IV, 4:30-6 pm. 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11
Location: FLTC 202

The Healer’s Art

Description: The Healer’s Art combines seed talks and experiential exercises in a large group setting along with small group experiential exercises.  The course engages students in a discovery model of community of inquiry focusing on the meaning of physicianhood and the practice of medicine.  Faculty participates in the discovery model process on an equal footing with students as well as facilitating the process of the small groups.  The course is designed to encourage medical students to trust the power of listening and presence to heal, formulate a personal, comfortable, and compassionate response to loss, experience the healing power of grief, recognize that who they are is as important to the healing relationship as what they know, recognize awe and mystery in the daily practice of medicine, explore the concept of calling, write a personal mission statement, and explore the personal meaning of physicianhood.  The Healer’s Art facilitates students in clarifying, strengthening and making a personal commitment to medicine as their life’s work.  Students also have the opportunity to explore their personal values, and commit to developing and preserving their personal values, such as service, harmlessness, compassion, altruism, self-care, equality, justice, respect and nurturing wholeness.

Course Master: Anna Lijowska, MD
Minimum number of students: 10
Maximum number of students: 50
Dates/Times: Session III, 5:15-7:15 pm. 1/20, 1/27-IPE, 2/3-IPE, 2/10, 2/17-IPE, 2/24, 3/2, 3/9
Location: FLTC 201 (Second room: 206 in Jan/Feb; 202 in Mar)