Preclinical Electives List
Beyond the Basics
Preclinical electives are open to all first- and second-year medical students. These electives are announced to students during the academic year. Students are active participants in the design and implementation of many of these electives. Students choose to participate based on subject area and pedagogical approach (didactic sessions, seminar discussion and/or community service). These electives may be associated and coordinated with Scholarly Concentration activities. All preclinical electives are graded Satisfactory/No Credit.
The course provides medical students an opportunity to learn about the bio-psychosocial model of cancer with an emphasis on patient advocacy in the preclinical years. There are weekly lectures on cancer basics and treatment options. Each student will also be matched with an individual living with cancer. The students will attend scheduled appointments with the patients at the hospital or attend support group meetings in the community.
The course provides students, proficient in the Chinese language, with working knowledge of Mandarin, relevant to medical practice in order to better communicate with and serve Chinese-speaking patients.
This course is designed for second-year medical students with intermediate to advanced-level knowledge of conversational Spanish. You will gain the vocabulary necessary to speak competently in Spanish about a wide range of medical specialties in order to communicate more effectively with Spanish-speaking patients and their families. You will develop a critical Spanish lexicon and the language skills necessary for conducting medical interviews based on the medical school's doctoring checklists. Lastly, you will gain experience presenting medical information to patients in a meaningful way. (Pre-requisite: one year of college-level Spanish.)
This course is a joint seminar with law students from Roger Williams University. It focuses on a comprehensive understanding of the social forces and other factors that impact health, and how legal and advocacy resources may be directed to help the most vulnerable in our society.
This course aims to provide students with a broad understanding of the U.S. healthcare system, structured around issues of access to care. Topics include economics of healthcare and private health insurance; Medicare and Medicaid; pharmaceutical industry; hospitals and how they work; and health care advocacy. A case presentation by students is required.
This course provides medical students an opportunity to learn about the importance and role of a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and management of fetal conditions, as well as to learn about the current options in fetal diagnosis and treatment, both noninvasive and invasive.
This course seeks to extend the consideration of bioethics beyond its usual boundaries by engaging students in a semester-long discussion about health, science, ethics, and power. How do these terms relate to each other, and how is each shaped by shared and/or contested cultural values? How do our deeply-held but historically-specific ideas about the family, nation, gender, money, race, the market, etc. affect how we conceptualize and attempt to solve health problems? What are the most effective ways to improve health on the local, national and/or global level? We use readings in bioethics, cultural theory, public health and history as a basis for addressing these and other questions. The topics we focus on include: the use of human research subjects, the corporate use and corruption of science, health and development, and the science of gender and reproduction.
Mindfulness practice improves working memory, concentration, skillful communication, and capacity for empathy and compassion. It also decreases circulating cortisol, genomic expression of inflammatory mediators, and is the only proven intervention for burnout. Mindfulness practice begins with exercises designed to cultivate perfect voluntary control over one's own attention - attain "mastery of the mind." Participants will become proficient in these exercises, consider and discuss the clinical implications of mindfulness practice, and gain a framework to continue mindfulness practice throughout medical school.
This elective's goal is for Alpert Medical School students to learn more about the intricate healthcare needs of individuals who do not fall into gender or sexuality majorities. While the needs of this underserved and vulnerable population are becoming more recognized, the understanding within medical practices is far from adequate. Additionally, as it stands, medical curriculum does little to recognize the needs of this increasingly visible community. Our class will delve into these often undiscussed health concerns with a lens that encompasses the relevant scientific, clinical and activist issues. We believe that students completing this elective will be more sensitive to, mindful of, and competent in providing for the healthcare needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed patients. We hope that our class will actively engage students in productive dialogue and will contribute to our medical school's ethos regarding the development of competent, ethical and human physicians.
This preclinical elective is designed to increase early clinical exposure to surgery for junior medical students. The elective provides opportunities for students to participate in the operating room, on surgery rounds, and in surgical clinics, as well as attend conferences, review literature, learn surgical skills, and participate in seminars with residents and faculty. The elective is overseen by surgical attendings and directed by surgical residents, who establish one-on-one mentoring relationships with enrolled medical students.
This course provides students with cross-cultural perspectives on medical topics such as aging in the U.S. and Germany contexts.
The goal of this intensive two-week seminar is to bring pre-medical and medical students from Brown and Tubeingen together to discuss ethical issues of medical practice from a comparative perspective.
The rapidly evolving field of genetics demands physician facility in utilizing genetic and genomic information to optimize patients' medical care. However, many doctors feel unprepared "to tackle" genetics (1.7%); and research suggests that 48% of patients are dissatisfied with their genetic medical care. This course explores 1.) the role of genetics in a range of medical fields - from neurology to oncology, pediatrics, ophthalmology, endocrinology, and hematology, and 2.) the current issues on the field, including public policy and ethics surrounding genetic testing/diagnosis, data sharing, false positives/negatives, and insurance coverage; genetic and reproductive counseling; the history of and modern day Eugenics; and genetic-testing in underserved populations.
Creating theater and practicing medicine are both deeply human endeavors. Both fields confront real bodies in a specific space and time; both fields transform partial narratives and dialogue into new, crafter narratives that inform, empower, and heal others. By bringing together two communities - Brown medical students and Brown/Trinity M.F.A. Actors - this course will explore how the tools of theater can make better doctors and how the skills and perspectives of medicine can make better artists.
The course is an overview of the field of CAM. The syllabus evolves as clinicians and researchers sign on to participate, so there is nothing in stone. We will open the course with a discussion of CAM in the United States. This will be followed by discussions of different ways of thinking about illness, from reductionism to holism. Other topics will be acupuncture, Chinese diagnosis, mind-body medicine, bodywork, homeopathy, narrative medicine, functional medicine, and the role of research in CAM. Students will be asked to commit to a self-care project (eg. journal writing, meditation, yoga, and dietary change) for the semester. Students will need to produce a brief write-up about their experience with self-care. Additionally, students will be asked to prepare and deliver a brief presentation on a topic of their choice. Readings will be posted as lectures are planned through the semester.
The course is designed to heighten the awareness for medical students regarding the clinical care for pregnant women and their newborns. Students increase their knowledge of medical needs as well as the social, economic, and cultural issues that are unique to this population. MOMS is a place where students develop an individual student/patient relationship and follow the medical regiment of a pregnant patient, attend diagnostics tests, doctor's appointment, and the birthing process itself.
The elective exposes students to medical device technologies and their role in contemporary medicine. The course consists of monthly sessions on different commonly used biotechnology devices. For each topic, we hope to have a clinician, a patient, and someone who develops the technology. Specifically, the goals of the elective are to: 1) Understand the major features of the biomedical device from the perspective of its role in replacing/supplementing physiological needs; 2) Gain insight into a clinician's role in selecting a device, and educating a patient about its purpose/use; 3) Develop an appreciation for how a biomedical device may impact/change the day-to-day life of a patient.
The Wilderness Medicine preclinical elective is eight evening sessions covering various topics in wilderness medicine. Topics include: an overview of wilderness medicine with basic wilderness first aid, marine injuries and illnesses, extremity injuries, hypothermia, altitude sickness, infectious diseases, low resource medicine, current wilderness medicine research and marine and land rescue. Typical meetings will begin with a didactic lecture/discussion, including a skills training session and finish with an opportunity to practice new skills. The final project will be a weekend camping trip in which we will practice specific skills that we learn during the year. Students who are unable to attend this camping trip will have an option of writing a 3-5 page paper on a topic in wilderness medicine of their choice, to satisfy the final project requirement.
This course introduces the principle themes of refugee health. The course progresses chronologically, addressing first the health concerns of internally displaced people and then of refugees settled in "temporary" camps. A session will then explore the process of refugee resettlement in the US, with focused attention on the legal, educational, and financial logistics of the six-month resettlement phase. We will then move on to explore health care in the context of US resettlement, starting with the immediate refugee health assessment and then delving into the persistent challenges of barriers to access, chronic medical issues (including disease of mental health), and language gaps. This chronology is covered in classroom sessions with host guest speakers and assigned readings.
The goal of this elective is to introduce the field of ophthalmology to preclinical students. The course will be divided into five blocks, one for each of the eye conditions that will be examined: cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and thyroid eye disease. Each block is structured with a core didactic component supplemented by interactive content. The core content of the course consists of web-based didactics, lectures by attending ophthalmologists from the Brown Ophthalmology Division and readings consisting of case studies from peer-reviewed journals. The supplmementary content of the course will animate the core content via virtual surgery, digital surgical videos, and participate in glaucoma screeenings.
This preclinical elective course involves monthly student-led seminars focused on medical care of vulnerable populations and clinical experience as a student provider at Brown Student Community Clinic in the Rhode Island Free Clinic. The course aims to provide students with the knowledge, skill and support needed for medical care of underserved populations and to enable them the opportunity to practice these new-found skills in a clinical setting that services an underserved population. The intent of the course is to create future leaders in primary care and care of underserved populations.
The leadership demands on physicians are daunting; the changing healthcare system, rapid technological advances, increased patient accountibility measures, resource constraints and demographic change have all been cited as areas where tomorrow's physicians will be increasingly expect to lead. Until now there have been few venues for Alpert Medical students to formally develop their leadership skills. In this course we will address effective physician leadership by examining leadership theory and leadership competencies using a case-based challenge-cycle format in addition to engaging with invited speakers and amongst ourselves in small group discussions. Students will demonstrate their competencies in a "SMART" (specific, measurable, achieveable, realistic, and time sensitive) persuasive final presentation on an aspect of medical education or medicine in general as a means to develop and explore their new skills.
This pre-clinical elective covers a variety of sexual health topics for the benefit of first and second year medical students to utilize in their clinical practice. The goal is to expose students to the range of sexual expressions and practices and help them become more comfortable engaging patients in conversation about sexual health. Throughout the course students will have the opportunity to reflect on their own sexuality and identify biases which might impact their future interactions with and counseling of patients. The majority of classes will be led by Megan Andelloux, a sexual health educator who founded the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Pawtucket, as well as guest sexual therapists, physicians, and community members.
Medical Impact of Basic and Translational Science will provide first and second year medical students of all levels of scientific background the opportunity to participate in intellectually engaging discussions led by prominent medical school faculty in a small group setting. A class of 8-10 students will discuss, on a biweekly basis, the original literature describing the discoveries behind many of the key topics taught in the first year curriculum. By the conclusion of the course, students will have deepened their knowledge of topics taught in the first year as well as strengthened their understanding and appreciation for the science that is responsible for where medicine stands today. Students entering the course are not expected/required to have any experience reading basic or translational literature. A maximum of five papers will be discussed throughout the semester and there will be additional lecture-based sessions related to careers in academic and translational medicine.
This course is an introduction to entrepreneurs in the health care space, featuring doctors who have started and sold their own companies, business professionals with expertise in technology transfer from universities, and researchers who have commercialized their own bench discoveries. This course aims to teach the process of creatively brainstorming ideas, forming viable business models and problem solving for many of the common challenges physician-entrepreneurs face. As a final project, students will create their own business and present to their peers, with the potential for support and mentorship should they wish to pursue their project further.