Medical Education

Pre-Clerkship Elective Application

There are a variety of electives open to first- and second-year medical students. Most are taught by Alpert Medical School faculty.  Others are designed, implemented and led by students along with a faculty advisor. These ½ credit electives are graded Satisfactory/No Credit. Although listed on the student's official transcript, they do not count toward fulfilling the requirements of the MD degree.

Application Process

All faculty or students who plan to offer a Years 1 and 2 elective must complete an application and receive approval by the Medical Curriculum Committee (MCC). The Subcommittee on Years 1 and 2 reviews applications and makes a recommendation to the MCC for final approval of the elective. Student-led electives must have at least one faculty advisor.

All electives must be approved or recertified each academic year by the MCC. This policy enables the committee to track what electives are offered, assess their quality and disseminate the information to students.

MDCC Review Schedule.  All Years 1 and 2 electives are evaluated annually. 

  • At the April or May meeting, the MCC will review Years 1 and 2 electives that will be offered in the fall semester or given over the course of both fall and spring semesters.
  • At the September or October meeting, the MCC will review Years 1 and 2 electives that will be offered in the spring semester.

Students planning to submit a Years 1 and 2 elective application should contact Dr. Sarita Warrier at least 10 days prior to submission of the completed application.

Pre-Clerkship Elective Application

Faculty Advisor: Professor Lundy Braun, Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Africana Studies

Over the past two decades a major debate on the use of race and ethnicity in medicine has emerged.  At the same time, there has been increasing interest in and debate over how structural inequality and structural racism affects health.  An important dimension of this debate is the differing perspectives on the meaning of race in the published work in social sciences/humanities and biomedicine. In this elective, we will explore the following questions: What is "race''? What notions of race are being incorporated into medical practice, scientific research, and monitoring apparatuses?  How do racial inequalities in disease intersect with structural inequality? Importantly, what are the consequences of varying perspectives on race and racism -- for the practice of medicine and specifically for understanding the causes of health inequality? This seminar/workshop will draw on evidence from a variety of disciplines, including recent books in medical anthropology, history of medicine, Africana studies, sociology, and science to address the above questions.

Faculty Advisor: Bob Heffron, MD

Integrative Medicine: From Alternative to Mainstream is open to PLME students, medical students, and then others as space permits. Maximum 14 students. This elective will be held in the spring.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. M. Wool

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.

Student Leaders: Kevin Chen, MD24
Faculty Advisor: C. James Sung, MD; Jean Kao, RN, MSN

Medical Chinese elective teaches you everything you need to know to treat Chinese language-speaking patients. This course offers a comprehensive education in Chinese linguistic and cultural competency - and excellent food! Basic conversational Mandarin is a course prerequisite, although written Chinese skills are not necessary.

Number of required hours: 12-16 hours (12 hours of lecture).
Student Enrollment: First year medical students
Max Enrollment: NA
Semester Offered: Spring semester 

Student Leaders: Mike Taglienti, MD23; Dana Phan, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Nidia Schuhmacher

¡Hola ustedes! Quieren practicar medicina en Espanol?
Intermediate Medical Spanish takes students™ basic Spanish skills to the next level, giving them the ability needed to treat Spanish-language patients. This course, held on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-7:30, trains students in clinical Spanish language, including lessons in cultural competency and medical terminology. By the end of the semester, students will be able to take a complete history and perform a comprehensive medical exam in Spanish.  Minimal Spanish language ability is needed for participation.

Faculty Advisor: L. Tobin Tyler, JD, MA

This elective will explore how social, cultural, economic, and legal factors contribute to health disparities and the role of physicians in advocating for their patients and for policy change. Through facilitated discussion and interdisciplinary problem-solving with law students from Roger Williams University School of Law, students will learn and practice interprofessional medical-legal approaches to the complex health and legal needs of vulnerable patients and populations.

Student Leaders: Tsikata Apenyo, MD23; Brooke Barrow, MD23; Kevin Chen, MD23; Gabriella Sansaricq, MD23; Luke Sullivan, MD23; Oliver Tang, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Professor Eli Adashi, MD, MS

Healthcare in America comprises a series of lectures from renowned policymakers and other leaders on issues with pressing and contemporary relevance to healthcare, including substance use and opioids, gun violence, nutrition and food politics, housing and environmental justice, technology, health equity, behavioral health, and evolving models of care. In previous years, the course has allowed enrolled students and attendees the opportunity to learn from and connect with former US Secretaries of Health and Human Services, legislators, institutional and industry leaders, authors and journal editors, and others. Overall, the course aims to bring together speakers with diverse backgrounds that balance broad perspectives with expert insight on major topics that uniquely shape the experience of health and wellness in America.

Number of Required Hours: Students will be expected to dedicate 15-20 hours as part of the course, primarily through lecture with Q&A attendance (1.5 hours each).
Student Enrollment: First year medical students, Second year medical students, PLME undergraduate students
Max Enrollment: no maximum
Semester Offered: Fall semester, Spring semester 

Faculty Advisor: Liza Aguiar, MD; Sarah Davis, MD; Francois Luks, MD

This course covers diagnosis of fetal anomalies, concepts in prenatal counseling and current fetal treatment modalities, both in utero and in the perinatal period. This is a preclinical elective course aimed at first and second year medical students, as well as PLME students and biology graduate students. The course is divided into 8 weekly 1 ½ hour sessions. It focuses on conditions for which fetal and/or neonatal intervention may be indicated, from gene therapy to fetal surgical intervention. Physicians from different specialties will lecture and lead class discussions (great opportunity to connect with clinical faculty!!). Students will have the opportunity to participate in a mock MADAM (Multidisciplinary Antenatal Diagnosis and Management) conference at the end of the course.

Student Leaders: Joey Gu, MD20
Faculty Advisor: Dr. David Egilman

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.

Student Leaders: Mason Hedberg, BMSIV
Faculty Advisor: Willoughby Britton

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.

Student Leaders: Elizabeth Schindler, MD16
Faculty Advisor: T. Empkie, MD, MPH

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.

Student Leaders: Johanna Suskin, MD23; Brian Zhao, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Vinay Rao

Introduction to Surgical Subspecialties is a preclerkship elective 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.

Number of Required Hours: 30+
Student Enrollment: First year medical students, Second year medical students
Max Enrollment: 10
Semester Offered: Fall semester, Spring semester 

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.

Student Leaders: Alexandra Grieb, MD17
Faculty Advisor: C. Phornphuktul, MD

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.

Faculty Advisor: Deborah Salem Smith

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.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Heffron

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.

Student Leaders: Susie Ahn, MD17; Hyunwoo June Choo, MD17
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michelle Daniel

For over four centuries, opera with its extravagance and melodrama has acutely captured our evolving understanding of disease processes from tuberculosis in Puccini’s La Bohème to HIV/AIDS in Larson’s rock opera Rent. While opera serves to prepare audiences emotionally for their own inevitable demise through staging poignant stories of human disease and mortality, it has also instilled ongoing stereotypes and stigma with which we label both patients and their doctors. In this unique interdisciplinary course, faculty from the medical, music, and foreign language departments will facilitate active discussion of topics ranging from “Tuberculosis and the Opera Heroine” to 'Orthopedic Disorders in Opera' to 'Wozzeck: A Study in Medical Ethics.' Drawing upon live performances, video clips, scientific and literary articles, this course will provide students with an overview of the historical and contemporaneous understandings of diseases and the role of the physicians who treat them.

Student Leaders: Joey Gu, MD22; James Williams, MD22; Catherine Li, MD21
Faculty Advisor: Ravi Sarpatwari

Design+Health is an interdisciplinary studio that examines the intersection of design thinking, healthcare, and entrepreneurship. Students work in diverse teams of medical, RISD, and Brown undergraduate students to solve real-world clinical challenges. Each team is assigned a clinical track and will have the opportunity to observe and shadow within their clinical setting. The course culminates with a final project that presents a solution to an identified design problem.  Class time is divided into didactic and workshop sessions: didactic sessions are guest lectures given by industry experts whereas workshop sessions are opportunities for students to receive constructive feedback and work on their projects.

Student Leaders: Austin Tam, MD19
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Joseph Rabatin

Opportunity to interact and learn from nursing, social work, and physical therapy students in an interactive and engaging set of sessions. Learn about interprofessional education (IPE) and other healthcare disciplines. We do fun simulations, team building activities, and engaging discussions. Dinner is served at each session. We seek eager med students to represent the field of Medicine and doctors in this opportunity. IPE is a hot topic in Med Ed and will help in OSCES, the wards, and career workplace dynamics.

Student Leaders: Ella Burguera-Couce, MD24; Bella Ehrlich, MD24; Karen Lob, MD24; Alexandra Helliwell, MD24; Andrés Amaya, MD24
Faculty Advisor: Nidia Schuhmacher

The goal of the course is to explore Spanish as it is used in different medical settings, to explore and engage with cultures that speak Spanish, and to refine Spanish speaking skills commonly used in medical interactions. The Advanced Medical Spanish preclinical elective consists of 8 classes and 2 OSCEs. Class meetings will consist of interactive activities and discussions on various topics of medicine. The purpose of the OSCE is to ensure that students can use Spanish in a clinical setting and to help students incorporate what they have learned in doctoring to their Spanish skill set. Assigned grades are pass/fail. The course runs from September to December.

Student Leaders: Jacob Berman, MD23; Mike Taglienti, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Michael Goldstein

The Healer's Art is a pre-clinical elective for students and faculty to reflect on their experiences in medicine and bring humanism, compassion, and empathy into medical education. The program is a national organization and is now offered at 90+ medical schools in the U.S. and around the world. Research has shown that this program has increased resilience and decreased burnout among clinicians and student doctors.

The course will consist of five sessions, lasting three hours each. Each session consists of a larger group presentation led by a physician about that day's topic, followed by small group discussions with your classmates and faculty members. Topics will include Allowing Awe in Medicine, Honoring Loss, and Service as a Way of Life. This course provides a safe place to reflect on previous life experiences as they relate to medicine, and debrief on the emotions and challenges we encounter in medicine.

Student Leaders: Marcos Aranda, MD17
Faculty Advisor: Janet Cooper Nelson

The course hopes to make students capable of identifying and addressing religious concerns that a patient may have. It also hopes to identify how physician's came to be uncomfortable addressing religion. Additionally, there will be time for student's to practice their skills.

Student Leaders: Peter Brodeur, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Jeffrey P. Feden, MD

The field of sports medicine has seen substantial growth in recent years.  This elective aims to introduce preclinical medical student to the multidisciplinary nature of sports medicine, with a focus on career opportunities and the medical and orthopedic care of athletes.  The course will include interactive discussions and didactic sessions presented by a variety of primary care sports medicine and orthopedic faculty members on topics ranging from sports-related concussion to performance-enhancing drugs.  Students will also have the opportunity to practice musculoskeletal exam skills and attend an athletic event with one of several team physicians.  A required presentation will allow students to identify, investigate, and present a clinical topic in sports medicine.

Student Leaders: Geoffrey Binney, MD24; Christopher Bayston,MD24; Emily Zitkovsky, MD24; Joshua Goldenberg, MD24; Rebecca Wales, MD24
Faculty Advisor: Susanna Magee, MD, MPH

Despite having the 7th-highest teen pregnancy rate in the United States, Rhode Island has no formalized sexual education course for its middle school or high school students. Sex Ed by Brown Med students provide interactive and engaging lessons on sexual health topics at Calcutt Middle School in Central Falls, an area that has been flagged by the CDC as an area needing school-based HIV/STD Prevention and School Based Surveillance. Calcutt Middle School is the only public middle school in Central Falls, and so the majority of teenagers in the area will at some point, matriculate through our program.

Our curriculum will provide the lessons, training sessions, materials, and framework upon which students will not only become better educators, but also become central stakeholders in the sexual health outcomes of our surrounding community.

Aside from attendance, students will be required to complete pre and post evaluations, as well as reflections on each lesson.

Number of Required Hours: 21
Student Enrollment: Gateways Program students, Other
Max Enrollment: None
Semester Offered: Fall semester, Spring semester 

Faculty Advisor: Francois I. Luks, MD, PhD

BIOL 6527 is an elective course seminar in medical illustration, aimed at 1st and 2nd year medical students. It is given during the Spring semester and consists of once-a-week series of lectures and exercises. Many physicians draw. We are not all artists, but we often use pictures instead of thousands of words  “whether to explain medical concepts to students or procedures to patients. Cultural, language and educational barriers may hinder verbal communication, and the use of simplified diagrams can enhance patients' understanding of their medical condition. Of course, not all sketches are created equal; but just like medical students can be taught how to communicate better with patients and colleagues, so too can the rudiments of sketching be an acquired, rather than an innate talent. Rather than teaching detailed artistic illustration to a few talented individuals, we are interested in inculcating basic graphic rules to a large group of medical students.

Faculty Advisor: Melinda Bridgman, MD; Arthur Mercurio, MA; Melanie Morris

This course focuses on autism spectrum disorders and developmental disability. It aims to foster strong one-on-one relationships between premedical/medical students and high functioning, developmentally delayed adolescent patients ages 14-21, all with a secondary psychiatric diagnosis from the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD) at Bradley Hospital, a children's psychiatric hospital in East Providence RI.  The students will mentor the CADD patients, become role models, and provide socialization opportunities.  We will meet 7 times throughout the semester. There will be clinical lecture/discussions and individual and collaborative art making sessions at the medical school and possible community sites in the greater Providence area.  The requirements will include keeping an ongoing journal during the course; creating a final art project based on a student's experience with the CADD patients and reading occasional handouts/articles for discussion.

Student Leaders: Madeline Chin, MD23; Daniel MacLachlan, MD23; Sophia Song, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Laura Levine, MD

We are the preclinical elective for individuals interested in substance abuse and addiction. We will feature a range of speakers who are experts on various topics related to addiction. We will also require experiential components to our course where students can see the treatment of individuals with addiction in the community.

Student Leaders: Sarah Arbaugh, MD24; Kelvin Chang, MD24; Nicholas Streltzov, MD24; Daniel Antonson, MD24; Caterina Dong, MD24
Faculty Advisor: Megan Smith, MSW; Craig Kaufmann, MD

The aim of this preclerkship elective is to introduce students to the unique resiliencies of and challenges faced by individuals experiencing homelessness and to cover topics related to trauma, social determinants of health, health care access, substance use, and the need for innovative models to address these. Guest speakers and topic discussions will occur monthly and are held jointly with a masters-level social work elective. Students will also accompany a street outreach team (outreach worker and psychiatrist) twice during the course in order to learn directly from and bear witness to people currently experiencing homelessness.

Number of Required Hours: 20
Student Enrollment: First year medical students, Second year medical students, PLME undergraduate students, Gateways Program students, Other
Max Enrollment: 15
Semester Offered: Fall semester, Spring semester 

Faculty Advisor: Angela Jarman, MD; Alyson McGregor, MD, MA; Rebecca Barron, MD, MPH

This course will provide an overview of Sex and Gender Based Medicine (SGBM) and highlight its contributions in disease prevention, presentation, diagnosis, and treatment. The field of SGBM focuses on how all sexes and genders affect the health of patients through biological and social mechanisms. For example:

  • Women with acute coronary syndrome are more likely than men to present with shortness of breath and fatigue
  • Smoking cannabis is more likely to trigger psychosis in men
  • Women have more difficulty recovering from sports-related concussion

The course will explore a range of existing sex and gender differences in medicine as well as the reasons behind them. Students will be challenged to think about the ways in which sex and gender will affect their future patients’ health and begin to gain the skills necessary to provide sex and gender specific care as clinicians.

Course Objectives
1. Gain an awareness of the significance and scope of SGBM.
2. Develop the tools to view all patients through a sex and gender lens.

Student Leaders: Ankush Bajaj, MD24; Alisa Pugacheva, MD24
Faculty Advisor: Adetokunbo Oyelese, MD, PhD

The preclerkship elective in neurological surgery is an introduction for medical students in their first and second years of study to gain exposure to, and explore, potential interest in neurological surgery.

Number of Required Hours: 16
Student Enrollment: First year medical students, Second year medical students
Max Enrollment: 6
Semester Offered: Fall semester, Spring semester 

Faculty Advisor: Neil Sarkar PhD, MLIS; Elizabeth S. Chen, PhD

This course will introduce students to basic data analytic skills needed for supporting research in biomedicine and health care. This course is not focused on teaching the full breadth of fundamental informatics or data science concepts; however, some coverage of these topics will be done within the context of biomedical and health scenarios. The overall course will be done in the context of student chosen projects, with the goal of establishing necessary foundational data analytic techniques for supporting longer-term research goals.

Student Leaders: Kristian Georgiev, MD20
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Heffron

This elective built for medical students will focus on the theoretical and practical applications of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and how to integrate it in Western practice. We will delve into the background and theory of TCM, explore the basis for common and useful traditional practices through case studies, and get hands-on experiences with techniques such as tongue and pulse diagnosis, acupuncture, and more. Students with or without experience in one of Dr. Heffron's other classes are all encouraged to apply!

Student Leaders: Joshua Hughes, MD22; Tom Martin, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ken Williams

This elective helps students develop skills to better respond to an emergency/disaster situation and provides them with insight into prehospital care. Skills covered include limb immobilization, airway management, mass casualty management, disaster situation communication skills, how to construct a go bag, and more. Course materials include information on the policy and procedures of EMS companies in and around RI, FEMA and Incident Command System for large scale disaster response, and information for both professional and personal disaster preparedness. During the course, students will complete a ride-along with LifePACT (critical care transport ambulance), and the course will culminate in a simulated emergency experience where students will use the skills gained throughout the course.

Number of Required Hours: 16
Student Enrollment: First year medical students, Second year medical students, PLME undergraduate students, Gateways Program students
Max Enrollment: 22
Semester Offered: Fall Semester, Spring Semester 

Student Leaders: Casey Abrahams, MD23; Natalie Cortinas, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Martha Kole, MaryBeth Sutter

The course is designed to heighten the awareness for medical students regarding the clinical care of pregnant women and their newborns. Students will increase their knowledge of the medical needs as well as the social, economic, and cultural issues that are unique to this population. MOMS is an elective in which students develop an individual student/patient relationship and follow the medical needs of a pregnant patient, attend diagnostic tests, doctors' appointments, and the birthing process itself.

Student Leaders: Dorothy Liu, MD17; Holly Brideau MD17; Lakir Patel, MD17
Faculty Advisor: G. Wessel

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.

Student Leaders: Katherine Barry, MD23; Dylan Markey, MD23; James Mullin, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Elizabeth Sutton, MD

Get a taste of Emergency Medicine and learn how to manage serious injuries in a resource-limited environment with Wilderness Medicine! The course consists of eight evening sessions covering the practice of medicine in the setting of emergent trauma and will specific focus on the following topics: an overview of wilderness medicine with basic wilderness first aid, marine injuries and illnesses, extremity injuries, hypothermia, altitude sickness, infectious disease, low-resource medicine, current wilderness medicine research, and rescue and evacuation. In this course, students will develop a myriad of practical skills like initial assessment, primary and secondary trauma surveys, needle thoracotomy, splinting, C-spine management etc. The course culminates in a two-day camping trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, where students and course leaders will hike and practice the newly-learned skills in realistic emergency medicine scenarios. 

Student Leaders: Clara Mao, MD22; Imshan Dhrolia, MD23; Julia Rothschild, MD22; Rachel Montoya, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Carol Lewis, MD

The purpose of this course is to introduce principal themes of the refugee experience with resettlement and health. The course will draw from the teachings of a variety of stakeholders in the resettlement process, including resettled refugees, healthcare practitioners, policy makers, and relevant NGO entities. Topics addressed in the course include the politics of displacement, experiences in refugee camps, salient themes pre- and post-resettlement, and considerations of healthcare provision for different refugee sub-groups. These include persistent challenges of barriers to access, chronic medical issues (including diseases of mental health), and language gaps. The course will also connect students to community-based organizations and other opportunities to get involved with refugee health and advocacy in Providence, Rhode Island.

Student Leaders: Rachel Thankore, MD18
Faculty Advisor: Paul B. Greenberg, MD and Michael Migliori, MD

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 supplementary content of the course will animate the core content via virtual surgery, digital surgical videos, and participate in glaucoma screenings.

Student Leaders: Fatima Warsame, MD22; Timera Brown, MD22; Christina Mata, MD22; Daniela Rojas, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Joseph Rabatin, MD

This course takes a systems-based approach to exploring topics that influence the health of populations affected by structural oppression/systemic violence. We delve into the social determinants of health, and examine practices that produce, reinforce, or perpetuate disparities in health and healthcare. Consisting of 8 interactive discussion and exposure-based seminars, this course explores how systems influence factors such as power, privilege, and income distribution, interpersonal bias and communication, neighborhood and built environment, social and community context, which in turn work to adversely impact the health of specific subgroups of the population. Students who take this course will leave with knowledge and practical skills that can be directly applied to improve the health of medically underserved groups. This course is available to all preclinical students.

Student Leaders: Rory Merritt, MSIV
Faculty Advisor: B. Clyne, MD

The leadership demands on physicians are daunting; the changing healthcare system, rapid technological advances, increased patient accountability 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, achievable, 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.

Student Leaders: Jack Arsenault, MD20; Liz Taliaferro, MD20; Noah V. Lupica, MD20
Faculty Advisor: Megan Andelloux

Sexual Health is a preclinical elective designed to increase early exposure to inclusive and comprehensive sex education aimed at preparing medical students (and PLMEs!) to better offer resources and information to their future patients. By partnering with AMS and community leaders on topics of inclusive sexual health practices and protections, the elective provides opportunities for students to supplement the standard curriculum and training around topics of patient sexual health traditionally offered by the medical school. We can’t have these discussions with patients unless we first have them amongst ourselves!  Onward! Students will meet different community leaders in the fields of sexual health, participate in didactics and workshops, and develop a network of similarly interested students and faculty. The elective will be satisfactory/no credit (S/NC) based on meeting minimum course requirements. Additional feedback will be provided by course leaders. Enrollment will be open to all interested students. Students may repeat the elective if the course is not fully enrolled with new students.

Student Leaders: Brittany Borden, MD22; Collin Dickerson, MD22; Fatima Warsame, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ian Michelow

MITBS will provide 1st- and 2nd-year medical students of any scientific background level the opportunity to engage in intellectual discussions led by prominent AMS faculty in a small group setting. The class will discuss original literature describing the discoveries behind many of the key topics taught in the 1st year curriculum, therefore deepening their knowledge of those topics and strengthening their appreciation of the science behind modern medicine. Prior literature reading experience is not required.

Student Leaders: Annie Wu, MD17
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Paul B Greenberg, MD

The 'Advanced Ophthalmology Surgery Elective' is designed as an adjunct course to the 'Adventures in Ophthalmology Surgery' course. The main goals of this elective are to give an in-depth, practical approach to the field of Ophthalmology by providing medical students with shadowing opportunities in eye surgeries, as well as clinical exposure by shadowing in eye clinics. The 'Advanced Ophthalmology Surgery Elective' is for students who want to find out more about the career of ophthalmology, gauge their interests by experiencing day-to-day operations, meet mentors who can help students in their path to a career in ophthalmology, and hopefully increase appreciation of the subspecialty to train well-rounded physicians. Course components include online modules, virtual surgery simulation, and shadowing experiences in the OR and clinic.

Student Leaders: Kelsey Ripp, MD16; Emily Viggiano, MD16
Faculty Advisor: Joseph Braun, MD

This course focuses on a variety of environmental health topics: lead exposure to climate change and infectious disease; as well as connect students to physicians who have integrated environmental health work into their careers.

Student Leaders: Olivia Cummings, MD23; Blessed Sheriff, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Philip A. Chan

The course is a unique opportunity for students to become involved within the Rhode Island community and gain a practical skill-set. In 2006, the CDC revised its HIV testing guidelines and now recommends that everyone between the ages of 13-64 get screened for HIV. As it stands in Rhode Island, only Qualified Professional Testing Counselors (QPTCs) are allowed to provide testing services for HIV. Through providing instruction on current HIV management, this course will train students to become certified QPTCs and offer instruction in the use of both HIV and HCV Rapid Antibody Tests. Students will learn how to address difficult diagnoses and how to best encourage their patients to seek further treatment. Students will be able to use their knowledge and certification to strengthen the efforts of The Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Free Clinic, Clinica Esperanza, and others to increase both HIV and HCV screening, providing a valuable and much needed service to the community.

Student Leaders: Emily Davis, MD17
Faculty Advisor: Susan Rudders

As physicians, one of our greatest roles will be that of an educator. This course aims to provide students with an opportunity to fuse both clinical knowledge and teaching, specifically focusing on children with food allergies. With the goal of developing an interactive lesson about food allergies for elementary school age children, students will be introduced to a variety of practitioners involved in the care of children with food allergies, including a pediatric allergist, emergency medicine physician, child psychologist and school nurse. Students will also be exposed to an existing health education program in the community, as well as gain greater insight into teaching through workshops with faculty from Brown’s Education Department. Ultimately, this course strives to use teaching as a means of empowering children living with food allergies, providing them with skills to better manage their condition and helping them to recognize that they are not alone in their condition, along with educating those without food allergies about the proactive role they can take in supporting their peers with a chronic illness. Hopefully students who enroll in this course can take what they learn throughout the semester and apply it to other future health education interventions too.

Student Leaders: Eric Mi, MD24; Margarita Cruz-Sanchez, MD24
Faculty Advisor: Paul George, MD, MHPE; Mike Makuch

Food + Health is a collaboration between Johnson & Wales University and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University to develop a broad area of inquiry at the intersection of food, nutrition, medicine, and public health. As part of its many activities, Food + Health presents a preclinical elective for students of AMS and JWU that offers a curriculum incorporating nutrition science, cooking and clinical skills. The curriculum will be split between time in the AMS classrooms and the JWU laboratory classrooms (kitchens). The aim of the course to teach medical student about nutrition and provide a hand-on opportunity to apply that knowledge in order to better advise our future patients.

Number of Required Hours: 25
Student Enrollment: First year medical students, Second year medical students, PLME undergraduate students
Max Enrollment: 20
Semester Offered: Fall semester, Spring semester 

Student Leaders: Brian Kwan, MD17
Faculty Advisor: Paul George, MD, MPHE

Student Leaders: Seungjun Kim, MD17; Vinay Rao, MD17
Faculty Advisor: Paul George, MD, MPHE

'First, do no harm.' Although physicians have been practicing medicine under this principle since the Hippocratic era, the 1999 IOM report To Err Is Human showed that many patients were being hurt, not healed by the U.S. healthcare system. This course aims to introduce students to patient safety and quality improvement so that they can help make the healthcare system safer. This course will first address how human and systems factors and communication issues in teamwork contribute to errors. Next, we will cover learning from and disclosing errors, and teach students basic quality improvement methods. Finally, we will study application to cases on healthcare-associated infections, surgical safety, and medication safety. This interactive course will include case-based discussions and team-learning simulations with content from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School catalog of online courses and case studies on patient safety and quality improvement. Through this course, we hope to inspire students to join the patient safety movement, empower them to speak up about safety, and prepare them to participate in quality improvement projects.

Student Leaders: Richard Buesa, MD18
Faculty Advisor: Michael Felder

This course will provide a survey of contemporary medical ethics, with a particular emphasis on virtue ethics and principlism. Special attention will be paid to Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and more recent authors such as Pellegrino, Beauchamp, and Childress. Through a series of seminars and case studies, students will explore contemporary ethical dilemmas in medicine and consider whether it is possible to be both a virtuous human being and a competent and skilled physician.

Student Leaders: Nikki Haddad, MD20; Erick Guzman, MD20
Faculty Advisor: Jay Baruch, MD

This course will traverse a range of patient experiences as expressed through creative work. Through reflective writing, drawing, art observation, a visit to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum, and meetings with special guest artists, students will find new ways to appreciate and meditate on their future roles as caregivers. The course culminates in a creative final project. No art experience required. Open to first- and second-years. Enrollment is capped at 15 students.

Student Leaders: Cicely Krebill, MD23; Benjamin Gallo Marin, MD23; Marcelo Paiva, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Alison Hayward, MD; Katelyn Moretti, MD, MS

The primary focus of this elective is to increase early exposure and begin building competence with essential procedural skills that all medical students will be exposed to in their clinical medical education. Each session will focus on a brief presentation and demonstration of a specific procedural skill, followed by time for observed practice and hands-on experience using various models and simulations. Skills reviewed include airway access and intubation, catheterization, IV placement, and many more!

Student Leaders: Tom Martin, MD22; Tatiana Abrantes, MD23; Carlin Chuck, MD23; Tyler Harder, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Tareq Kheirbek, MD

The Introduction to Trauma and Acute Care Surgery pre-clinical elective is a semester-long course offered in both Fall and Spring, designed to introduce students to the acute surgical patient and the decision-making process leading a trauma surgeon to take a patient to the operating room. In this elective, students will learn the immediate evaluation and management of traumatic injuries. Expectations include attendance at case-based discussions with trauma, orthopedic, and neurological surgeons; students will also attend TICU rounds and trauma conference. There will also be a suturing and knot-tying workshop, as well as scrub training. An OR/trauma shadowing session is required. Students will be evaluated on a S/NC basis.

Number of Required Hours: 18
Student Enrollment: First year medical students, Second year medical students
Max Enrollment: 12
Semester Offered: Fall semester, Spring semester 

Student Leaders: Casey Abrahams, MD23; Layla Kazemi, MD23; Erica Lin, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Don Yoo, MD

Nearly every type of physician must be familiar with the techniques of diagnostic imaging. This elective will focus on a different area of radiology each week. Faculty members with expertise in that particular area will lead a discussion on why that particular area of radiology is important, common case presentations, and highlight some of the recent advances in the field.

Additionally, each week will feature a brief team-based learning exercise in interpreting imaging cases and applying their pre-clinical education. Students will be trained to used imaging software and given sample imaging to keep for their own studies.

Student Leaders: Ron Akiki, MD21; Grace Sun, MD21; Katie Hsia, MD21
Faculty Advisor: Arnold-Peter Weiss, MD

This course aims to:
1. To equip students with the resources to understand and adequately
respond to the business demands of their roles within the healthcare system
2. To provide future physicians with the skills to reform and improve the
healthcare system from a business perspective
3. To build a forum for students to discuss and question the professional
aspects of practicing medicine that are not taught in medical school.

Student Leaders: Casey Abrahams, MD23; Layla Kazemi, MD23; Erica Lin, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Leslie Robinson-Bostom, MD

Introductory dermatology course for first and second year students aimed to introduce foundational principles of dermatology including common inflammatory and neoplastic skin disorders through faculty-led seminars. Students will practice minor procedures such as shave biopsies, punch biopsies, and suturing under the teaching of residents and attendings. In a hands-on anatomy lab session, students will identify, biopsy, suture, and review the pathology of their biopsied lesions on cadavers. The course will be graded on attendance and a 5 minute dermatology-related PowerPoint presentation given on a topic of the student's choice.

Student Leaders: Srav Puranam, MD20; Eliza Decroce-Movson, MD20
Faculty Advisor: Megan Ranney, MD, MPH

Digital health is becoming an increasing presence in clinical practice and has potential to revolutionize patient care and the health care system. This course will help prepare PLME and medical students to take advantage of new digital health opportunities and challenges, and build a foundation for their career at the intersection of technology and medicine. Students will be exposed to the breadth of topics in digital health, learn to critically evaluate existing innovations and apply digital health frameworks to their own career goals, and engage with local digital health experts from a variety of fields.

Student Leaders: Liz Perry, MD19; Matt Perry, MD19
Faculty Advisor: Brad Brockmann

Prisons are the largest providers of mental health care in the US. Infectious diseases are more prevalent in prisons than in the general US population, including hepatitis C, which is 9-10 times more prevalent among inmates, and HIV, which is 4-5 times more prevalent. These are just a few examples of how incarceration and health intersect. In partnership with the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, this course aims to provide context for these staggering statistics, to elucidate how incarceration disproportionately affects communities of color and other marginalized communities who are also medically underserved, and to teach student doctors how to provide culturally competent care to formerly incarcerated individuals. Guest lecturers include physicians who work in prisons, activists fighting for prison reform, and individuals who have experienced incarceration.

Student Leaders: Stevens Kelly, MD21; Stephen DiMaria, MD21
Faculty Advisor: Diane Green

The San Miguel Pre-clerkship Elective is a service-centered elective, designed to engage medical students with the young men (5th - 8th grade) of the San Miguel School in Providence. San Miguel is a private, independent Lasallian middle school that selectively chooses at risk urban boys, and immerses them in a culture emphasizing citizenship, service, and personal responsibility. As part of this elective, medical students will gain teaching experience, collectively work to facilitate weekly tutoring sessions and collaborate with the students on a final group project. The San Miguel Project aims to bridge our two worlds, providing San Miguel students with educational and mentorship resources, as well as give committed medical students invaluable insight into the realities of our local patient population.

Student Leaders: Daniel Kraft, MD22; Emily Jaimerena, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Cortney Taylor, MD; Claire Williams, MD

As medicine advances, physicians are increasingly faced with ethical conflicts in clinical care and research. Often, these decisions are the most difficult ones physicians will face throughout their careers. Students taking this course will learn the general principles of medical ethics and practice applying them in a case-based manner. Each session will focus on a topic in medical ethics, including real cases from first-year Doctoring mentor site experiences, and class time will be spent discussing ethical considerations and the ways to navigate such "sticky situations."

Faculty Advisor: Robert Heffron, MD

This course will be an introduction to the field of integrative medicine. We'll have two introductory sessions surveying the many disciplines (acupuncture, mind-body therapies, yoga, etc) and exploring the meaning of 'holism' and the integrative philosophical approach to healing.  Time permitting, we will have presentations given by physicians identifying as 'integrative', as well as by other local practitioners in the field. Students will each select a discipline or modality, research it during the semester, and present a small creative project to the class.

Student Leaders: Blessed Sheriff, MD23; Orlando Garcia MD23; Katya Lavine, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Erica Hardy

Students will complete a 30-hour training to become certified as advocates for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Students will learn about forensic medical exams, how sexual violence in handled in the criminal justice system, human trafficking, and resources specific to military sexual assault. Students will also learn about the specific needs of underserved communities and vulnerable populations including children, elderly, the developmentally disabled, and LGBTQ individuals. By the end of the course students will have developed effective communication and advocacy skills. After the training, students will serve as victim advocates with Day One where they will meet victims when they present to the hospital. On these calls, students will act as advocates by providing resources, explaining the legal and medical process, and supporting individuals through medical exams. Students are expected to commit to volunteering for at least one year.

Student Leaders: Idara Ndon, MD22; Anna Bystricky, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Margaret R. Paccione, PhD

This course will teach students about the profound impact trauma can have on both mental and physical health. By examining a wide breadth of topics, including sexual assault, intimate partner violence, adverse childhood experiences, war and combat, community violence, medical trauma, and natural disasters, students will explore how the effects of trauma manifest across different populations at all stages of life. Further, this course will provide students with the opportunity to learn and practice concrete skills from a trauma-informed toolkit. With this robust framework, students will be able to create a clinical environment that is not only supportive to patients who have experienced trauma, but fosters resiliency in all patients regardless of their personal histories.

Student Leaders: Jamie Odzer, MD22; Edward Tie, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Herbert Rakatansky, MD

This course will examine a range of topics in the history of medicine including modern mental health, radical surgery, and anatomical dissections. The class will include 8 didactic/lecture sessions and a final presentation in which students will research and present on topics of their choice. No experience is needed to take the class.

Student Leaders: Andrew Barton, MD24; Jessica Moore, MD24: Salina Tesfay, MD24; Charlie Sevy, MD24
Faculty Advisor: Elizabeth Lowenhaupt, MD

This preclerkship elective is open to all medical students who are interested in providing sexual and general health education to incarcerated youth at the Rhode Island Training School (RITS). The purpose of the program is to increase the level of knowledge among RITS residents in various health topics, including sexual education, mental health literacy, sleep hygiene, nutrition and exercise, as well as promote healthy decision-making and relationships. Alternatively, students may lead a reading group with residents of the RITS, depending on interest. As a part of this course, students will work in pairs to teach 10 sessions, each session 60-minutes in length, to a group of 4-8 residents. Each youth in the program will take a pre-assessment prior to the program commencement and a post-assessment after each class in the program in order to evaluate the efficacy of the program. The course will also include three didactic seminar sessions led by RITS staff members and invited guests, regarding the Rhode Island Youth correction system, how healthcare works for RITS residents, and health disparities faced by incarcerated youth. Additionally, this course is a pre-approved Community Organization for the Doctoring III Service-Learning Project.

Number of Required Hours: 21
Student Enrollment: First year medical students, Second year medical students
Max Enrollment: 18
Semester Offered: Fall semester, Spring semester 

Student Leaders: Victoria Brown, MD20; Chloe Zimmerman, MD20
Faculty Advisor: Ellen Flynn

This course will build off the second year Doctoring curriculum to help students explore in a different way how they can prepare for the types and varieties of difficult conversations that being a doctor necessitates.  Practical mindfulness skills will be taught for maneuvering such difficult conversations. Students will explore how direct application of mindfulness practices can enhance their ability to care for themselves and their patients. Each class will involve a mindful practice component, as well as a large and small group discussion. Some classes will include lectures and presentation of relevant research on the role of mindfulness in clinical care and how it has been efficacious in addressing health related outcomes of both doctors and patients.  Opportunities for practicing mindfulness in deeper ways will arise in class sessions, as well as at a 4-hour Saturday retreat and through optional weekly guided meditations at the medical school.

Student Leaders: Marie Anderson, MD22; Amador (Tino) Delamerced, MD22; Viknesh Kasthuri (PLME21)
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Schraeder, MD

Journalists are continually translating, illustrating, and exposing the complexity, mystery, and insularity of medicine for the public. This elective will take a closer look at the work of medical journalists, from the various formats they use to the mistakes they make and the challenges they face. We will discuss the intersection of medicine and journalism and the impact of medical news on patients, physicians, research, and the public's perception and expectations of the medical profession. We will hear from guest medical journalists and writers, practice our own writing in guided exercises, and apply these skills to a final project. Final projects could include an article on a medical news topic for presentation, an op-ed, an interview, an outline of a major project such as a documentary film or podcast series, or a possible publication.

Student Leaders: Adrian Turcu, MD23; Linh Tran, MD23; Nicole Kim, MD23; Tia Forsman, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Van Nguyen, MD; Sun Ho Ahn, MD

The Introduction to Interventional Radiology preclinical elective is a semester-long course aimed at introducing first and second year students to the procedurally focused field of interventional radiology. In this elective, students will attend organ-based lectures from interventional radiologists, as well as shadow cases in the IR department at RIH. These lectures will follow the anatomy learned during the first year curriculum and will include an ultrasound learning component. Students will be evaluated on an S/NC basis. Expectations include attendances at the lectures, shadowing in the clinic and IR suite, and a final (brief) case presentation.

Student Leaders: Daniel Yang, MD23; Amy Blackburn, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Craig Eberson, MD

Introduction to Orthopaedic Surgery is a preclinical elective designed to provide an early exposure to the field of orthopaedics for first and second year medical students. The elective provides opportunities for students to participate in hands-on workshops, shadow in a variety of settings (clinic, operating room, emergency department, etc.), and cultivate mentor relationships with Brown faculty and residents.

Faculty Advisor: Liz Chen, PhD; Hamish Fraser, MBChB, MSc; Richard G. Gillerman, MD, PhD; Ross W. Hilliard, MD; Neil Sarkar, PhD, MLIS

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) has become an essential tool for supporting and evaluating healthcare delivery. This course will provide a glimpse of how EHRs have evolved, how they can impact clinical practice, and views on their future uses. This course will include lectures, interactive discussions, and first-hand accounts from clinicians demonstrating how EHRs are used in practice. A major feature of the course will be using real EHR systems for simulating physician/patient interactions.

Student Leaders: Lulu Cao, MD23; Tsikata Apenyo, MD23; Sud Perera, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Gyan Pareek, MD; Rashmi Licht

Introduction to Urology is a preclinical elective designed to increase early exposure to clinical and surgical urology for junior medical students. The elective provides opportunities for students to observe in the operating room, on rounds, and in clinics, attend conferences, participate in a DaVinci Robotics workshop, work through clinical cases, and participate in seminars with residents and faculty. The elective is overseen by urology attendings and directed by urology residents, who establish one-on-one mentoring relationships with enrolled medical students. Students also have an opportunity to connect with research mentors. This elective is a great opportunity for anyone interested in getting in the operating room in general – regardless of your interest or lack thereof in Urology specifically!

Student Leaders: Anna Delamerced, MD20; Sukrit Jain, MD20
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Julie Roth

Do you love watching Scrubs or ER? Are you drawn to movies like Lorenzo’s Oil and Still Alice? Medicine is multidimensional. The films and television shows featured in this course provide ways for medical students to think and discuss the various visual narratives that involve the experiences of physicians, patients, and caretakers. In this preclinical elective, students will investigate themes including the following: relationships between patients and healthcare providers; illness as metaphor and reality; the experience of disease, death, dying, and healing; truth, reality, and misconceptions; and the humanistic and social aspects of medicine.
This is the first time the elective is happening! Be part of a pilot course!

Faculty Advisor: Lundy Braun

Medicine has a long history of social activism with a particularly vibrant tradition called "social medicine." Social medicine has been defined in many different ways for various agendas since the mid-19th century.  Historically an outgrowth of broad-based social activism with activist healthcare providers developing deep roots in and collaborations with communities working for fundamental social change, the term social medicine has more recently been reduced to a narrow conception of social determinants, amenable to study solely through a biomedical model of disease.

The overarching goal of this class is to reflect on the most effective approaches to ending health inequality.  This requires engaging with the theoretical frameworks that guide medicine.  (All practice is informed by theory, whether or not we are aware of it.)  Questions raised in this class include: What theoretical frameworks do we need to guide action? How does a narrowly conceptualized biomedicine actually work, albeit unintentionally, to obscure the structural causes of disease?  How does structural inequality shape biomedical knowledge production, "interventions," and advocacy efforts?

Number of Required Hours: 16 h of class plus a final collaborative project
Student Enrollment: First year medical students, Other
Max Enrollment: 15
Semester Offered: Spring semester 

Student Leaders: Rudy Chen, MD19; Bryan Le, MD19

Music is an integral component of all cultures and societies and is often considered healing for the soul. But are the therapeutic effects more than spiritual? This preclinical elective serves as an introduction to music therapy, the field that uses the evidence based practice of employing music to achieve measurable, functional improvement in patients. The course is mostly online, but there are two lectures by music therapists.

Student Leaders: Lydia Ademuwagun, MD23; Brian Zhao, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Paul George

AMS Pathways is a mentorship program started in 2013 at AMS. Each year, over 50 Rhode Island high school students join students from AMS and local health professions schools (URI Nursing/Pharmacy, Bryant PA) once monthly for Pathways Sessions. During these 3-hour sessions, high school students are introduced to hands-on experiences and principles relating to healthcare professions. High school mentees then spend dedicated time with their mentor, where they're able to form strong mentor/mentee bonds, receive support on the college application process, learn about the professional school application process, and how to pursue their healthcare career goals. Mentees also work with mentors to create a final project that they present at the conclusion of the program in a symposium-style set-up. In this final session, mentees/mentors, parents, teachers, medical school faculty, and other community members have the opportunity to celebrate the work that mentees have accomplished.

Number of Required Hours: 3.5 hrs * 5 Sessions = 17.5hrs
Student Enrollment: First year medical students, Second year medical students, Gateways Program students, Other
Max Enrollment: 75 (contingent on number of mentees in program enrolled)
Semester Offered: Fall semester, Spring semester 

Student Leaders: Brooke Barrow, MD23; Ron Phillips, MD23; Sarah Kaelin, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Elizbeth Tobin-Tyler

Political polarization continues to divide our country. Many issues straddling this divide healthcare, immigration, climate change, and education, among others affect both our patients and our profession. While students and physicians alike are energized to affect change, our time is limited  how do we cross the chasm between ideas and action? This course aims to provide participants with the skills and connections to take advocacy ideas off the ground and bring them to life through real policy engagement and impact. Through a series of seminars and workshops, participants will learn how to navigate government and gain actionable skills, such as effectively organizing community support and crossing the political divide with persuasive writing. We will support students in completing a final project, anything from an editorial for a newspaper or blog to legislative testimony, to illustrate the skills they developed and make a real impact.

Student Leaders: Anna Ochsner, MD24; Jessica Yamada,MD24; Erica Lin, MD23; Nicole Kim, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Judy DeOliveira

This is an intensive course to gain basic proficiency in medical Portuguese in order to facilitate communication with Portuguese-speaking patients in clinical settings. This elective will provide students with the ability to engage with the Portuguese-speaking population in Rhode Island today and to communicate with patients in Portuguese as practicing physicians in the future. This course will cover basic aspects of medical Portuguese, focusing on basic vocabulary and phrases for conducting patient interviews. This will give students the tools to build rapport with Portuguese-speaking patients. Furthermore, the course helps students build cultural sensitivity with respect to the Portuguese-speaking world and teaches basic Portuguese related to several core competencies: speaking, listening, reading, interacting and writing. Learners are expected to reach a level of "Novice Mid" on the ACTFL Proficiency Scale or the "A1" Level delineated in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) by the end of the semester.

Faculty Advisor: Liza Aguiar, MD; Sarah Davis, MD; Francois Luks, MD

An introduction to the new field of fetal medicine, emphasizing the multidisciplinary approach to the “fetus as a patient.” The course covers diagnosis of fetal anomalies, concepts in prenatal counseling and current fetal treatment modalities, both in utero and in the perinatal period.

Faculty Advisor: Professor Lundy Braun

Medicine has a long history of social activism with a particularly vibrant tradition called “social medicine.” Social medicine has been defined in many different ways for various agendas since the mid-19th century.  Historically an outgrowth of broad-based social activism with activist healthcare providers developing deep roots in and collaborations with communities working for fundamental social change, the term social medicine has more recently been reduced to a narrow apolitical conception of social determinants, amenable to study through a biomedical model of disease.  The #BlackLivesMatter social movement has triggered an upsurge in political activism for change among medical students and other students in the allied health professions nationally.  This course situates contemporary activism in the longer history of social medicine traditions to examine inequalities in health and disease through the lens of racialized, classed, and gendered societal structures -- political, economic, and social.  The overarching goal of this class is to reflect on the most effective approaches to ending health inequality.

Student Leaders: Chibuikem Nwizu, MD'21
Faculty Advisor: Julie Roth, MD; Gita Pensa, MD

Do you have something to say? A story to tell? Something to teach? Learn how to get it out there for the world to hear. In this 7-session, hands-on, interactive elective, students will learn how to take their idea to the next level by creating a brief audio-based educational module (podcast) about a medical, biomedical or public health topic of their choice. Throughout the course, students will learn how to create a story from a topic, how to identify and use recording equipment and techniques, how to interview for audio, how to write for the ear and formulate a script, and how to utilize sound and editing techniques to make a finished product. Students will be expected to complete a final project for the course: a single podcast module, which will be critiqued in class. Students should bring laptops and smartphones with them to class; students will be required to download a free trial of Hindenburg audio editing software. Some shared recording equipment will be available.

Student Leaders: David Loftus, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Hanan Khalil

In this elective, students will gain a basic understanding and proficiency of medical Arabic to communicate effectively in clinical settings with Arabic-speaking patients.  This course may be of interest to students who hope to work with Arabic-speaking patients in Providence and elsewhere in the United States, as well as those considering a future career in the Middle East/North Africa region.  The course curriculum has been adapted from Doctoring I, and the Master History Checklist functions as the template and primary teaching tool.  In learning vocabulary, grammar, and basic phrases, students will be exposed to relevant cultural and religious aspects of the doctor-patient relationship.  No prior experience is necessary for this elective – whether you have exposure to Arabic or not, the course content is designed for anyone wishing to gain basic clinical communication skills in Arabic.

Student Leaders: Yao Liu, MD19; Hiba Dhanani, MD19; James Tanch, MD19
Faculty Advisor: Paul George, MD, MHPE

The Rhode Island Care Planning Collaborative (RI CPC) is a longitudinal, interprofessional education program for health profession students in RI to better learn how to manage complex patient care as a team. We work with patients who disproportionately use health care services, due to a mix of medical, behavioral, and/or social needs. Nationwide, programs have emerged to focus on complex patients in efforts to improve patient care and health outcomes while lowering costs. The RI CPC brings these efforts to RI and, drawing upon evidence that shows patient-centered care planning leads to better outcomes, integrates a team-based care planning process into medical education. After a successful pilot year in 2017-18, we plan to improve on the course and continue to bring together Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social work students from the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and Alpert Medical School.

Student Leaders: Kevin Chen, MD23; Victoria Schulte, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Charles Wulff

The aim of this course is to educate medical students on the impact of psychology and psychiatry on various specialties and subspecialties in medicine. This course will also provide a forum in which students can discuss the role of the biopsychosocial model in medical practice with Brown faculty. Through case studies and open discussion, the class will facilitate an early understanding of how the mental and physical health of patients is considered in specialties from obstetrics and gynecology, to oncology, to emergency care. The course will also function to give students a head start in learning how to deal with some of the common psychiatric concerns that arise in clinical settings, acting as a supplement to the Doctoring I and Brain Sciences courses.

Student Leaders: Danielle Hollenbeck-Pringle, MD21; Christopher Barry; MD21; Olivia Zielger, MD21; Sophia Demuynck. MD21
Faculty Advisor: Thais Mather, PhD

The Research in Medicine pre-clinical elective is designed as an introduction to research methods and analysis. Over nine sessions, students will learn about various methodological approaches to research in medicine through discussion of journal articles. Research types and disciplines covered by the course will include basic science research, translational research, clinical studies, epidemiological studies, and public health studies. The course is designed to build critical thinking and analysis skills with respect to peer-reviewed publications. No prior experience is necessary and students from all research backgrounds are welcome.

Student Leaders: Frank Deng, MD24; Jung Ho Gong, MD24; Zane Yu, MD24
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Francois Luks

This pre- clinical elective invites participants to learn about the intersection between art and medicine. Combining visual and active exercises, we look at how the body is understood by doctors, artists, and patients. There will be lessons in artistic skills, human anatomy, art history, painting, and the application of a framework through which to interpret art, medicine, and both simultaneously. This course encourages students to expand their ways of thinking and seeing by engaging in open-ended questions and the unknown like physician-artists.

Student Leaders: Nicole Bencie, MD23; Liliana Luna-Nelson, MD21
Faculty Advisor: Timothy Riker

Students will gain basic proficiency in American Sign Language and learn about Deaf culture to better understand and interact with Deaf patients one might encounter in a clinical setting. No experience is required! We will use both ASL and English in the classroom. ASL learning objectives include basic vocabulary related to medicine, grammatical structure of ASL, and differences between spoken vs. spatial modalities of language. Additionally, students will learn about early language development and acquisition, existing hearing interventions, and how to navigate patient interactions with an ASL interpreter.

Student Leaders: Pranav Aurora, MD20
Faculty Advisor: [email protected][email protected]

Praxis is informed, committed action. It is the process by which theory is enacted, embodied, or realized.
Justice-doing in medicine can be as abstract as it is concrete. In this course, students have the opportunity to put theory to practice. Students will work in partnership with social workers to secure disability benefits for eligible adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. Students will also read and discuss key theoretical texts from the social sciences and humanities disciplines at the intersection of housing, disability, and health justice.

Through field work and critical discussions, students should leave this course with a refined knowledge, language, and practical application of justice work in medicine. We also hope students leave with a stronger foundation to actively resist the underlying structures that perpetuate social injustices and make health disparities an acceptable reality.

Student Leaders: 

 Shital Shah, MD22; Lindsey Pileika, MD22; Kelsey Brown, MD22

Faculty Advisor: 

 Dr. Jennifer Friedman

This course will explore what it means to deliver quality healthcare and expand access in places where systems may not exist or may be broken – the “last mile”. Using guest speakers and examples from both around the globe and in our Providence community, this course will focus on the challenging nature of healthcare delivery for those that need it most but receive the least: we will focus on cultural dexterity, practical skills such as mobile ultrasound imaging, community partnerships, evaluating tools/interventions, global surgery, and preparing for infectious disease epidemics. The course will engage participants in discussion and reflection by analyzing the rationale for and modes of intervention to improve “last mile” and global health. Finally, the course will provide a critical, self-reflective framework and preparation for those who may want to do research, clinical work, or volunteer in last-mile settings.

Student Leaders: Praveen Rajaguru, MD23; Ben Mirman, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Ira Whitten; Taif Mukhdomi

Chronic pain has been linked to numerous adverse health outcomes including restrictions in mobility and daily activities, dependence on opioids, and anxiety/depression. With the growing need for pain management in all settings from the outpatient clinic to post-operative care, exposure to the field is vital. This elective aims to introduce students to the evolving field of pain medicine and appreciate its interdisciplinary nature. Students will work with Brown pain physicians, discover the many avenues to reach the field, and learn about pharmacological and interventional approaches to managing pain. Sessions will range from ultrasound-guided procedural workshops to neuromodulation to learning about humanistic alternative therapies.


Semester Offered: Spring semester 

Student Leaders: Dorothy Buening, MD23; Samuel Mickel, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gowri Anandarajah

Spirituality, defined as one's sources of strength, direction and meaning, is an integral part of the human experience for people of every background and culture. The goal of this course is to empower the next generation of healthcare providers to discuss and engage with patients' and their own spiritual beliefs, needs and values in the healthcare setting. In this course, students will gain an appreciation for the diverse ways in which spirituality and religion apply to patient and physician experiences of health, well-being, illness, death and change; a new skill set for assessing patients' spiritual needs and incorporating them into medical practice for better patient outcomes; confidence in how to address spirituality-related ethical dilemmas and death; and practice applying of spiritual self-care techniques. Through this, students will be able to provide better care as future physicians, deepen the patient-provider relationship and improve holistic health outcomes.

Student Leaders: Christian Shigley, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Maurice Frankie Joyce

This new course is designed to provide students with an early exposure to the specialty of anesthesiology through hands-on workshops, panel discussions, and presentations. Hear about the pros and cons of this specialty, while gaining a general understanding of how anesthesiologists provide a unique type of personalized medicine, while caring for some of the most vulnerable patients. Learn about airway management, ultrasound guided nerve blocks, crisis management, subspecialties within anesthesia, research opportunities within anesthesia, anesthesia equipment, and the importance of pharmacology and physiology in this specialty. Cultivate mentor relationships with Brown faculty and residents, including residency leadership, plus obtain shadow opportunities.

Student Leaders: Hyung Jin Lee, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Syeda M. Sayeed; Kristina McAteer

The goal of this course is to improve financial literacy of medical students and to prepare them for future financial hurdles. There is a serious lack of financial literacy among medical school students and physicians. In this elective, we will talk about investing into retirement accounts, creating a budget, filing taxes, preparing for marriage, managing credit scores, purchasing houses, cars and even insurance. Students will have a final project in which they will create their own goals and plan how to get there.

Student Leaders: Lauryn Ashford, MD22; Amador (Tino) Delamerced, MD22
Faculty Advisor: Dale Ritter

The purpose of this elective is to expose M1, PLME, and Gateways students to medical terminology. The course's topics will range from the history of Latin and Greek in medical terminology to the languages' present-day influences on terminology in anatomy, neurology, pathology, and more. The goals of the elective are to: 1) Appreciate the history of the medical language while students learn the essential medical etymological roots relevant to AMS curriculum; 2) Approach new medical terminology with solid understanding of word structure, etymological patterns, etc; and 3) Gain insight into the language barrier that our medical terminology imposes in a clinical setting as well as medical schools' learning environment.

Student Leaders: Sofia Sacerdote, PLME22; Arianna Price, MD22; Justin Dower, MD22; Nadine Najah, PLME22; Nicole Bencie, MD23
Faculty Advisor: Jay Baruch, MD

As an introduction to the medical humanities, this course will push students to discover connections between the humanities, arts, and medicine. The majority of the course meetings will be seminars run by our guest speakers including Comparative Literature professor Arnold Weinstein, oral historian Caroline Cunfer, and physician author Jay Baruch. Each seminar will explore a different aspect of the medical humanities, including literature that deals with medical topics, writing medical narratives, and the depiction of disease and treatment in art and photography. The course will include field trips to the RISD museum and a dance class for patients with Parkinson's. The seminars are designed to give students the theory and technical skills needed to design a final project which will be showcased in an exhibit open to members from all areas of the Brown, PLME, and AMS community.


Number of Required Hours:
Student Enrollment: First year medical students,Second year medical students,PLME undergraduate students
Max Enrollment: 20
Semester Offered: Spring semester 

Faculty Advisor: Paul B Greenberg, MD, MPH

This faculty-led elective course seeks to provide first-year medical students (especially those without prior research experience) with the tools to submit a high-quality proposal for an AMS-funded Summer Assistantship (SA). Using a combination of didactics in the classroom (four evening sessions) and one-on-one meetings (four afternoon sessions), the course will explore how to tackle key barriers, including selecting a faculty mentor, choosing a topic, drafting and troubleshooting a proposal and constructing a project timeline. The following two articles will provide some context for the course: R I Med J (2013). 2016 Aug 1;99(8):31-3 and R I Med J (2013). 2014 Jun 2;97(6):50-2.

Student Leaders: Sarah Hsu, MD22; Jordan Emont, MD20; Jessica Hoffen, MD22; Julia Rothschild, MD22; Angela Zhang, MD21
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Paul George

Climate change will be one of the defining modifiers of the global burden of disease over the course of the 21st century and beyond. This course will provide an overview of the wide ranging health impacts of climate change as well as the impact of healthcare on the environment. Employing a combination of guest speakers, readings, and small group discussions, students will learn how to identify and address the most salient emerging concerns in the era climate change. Among these topics are heat related morbidity and mortality, changing infectious disease patterns, and extreme weather events.

Student Leaders: Leonardo Lizbinski, MD24

Faculty Advisor: Martin Weinstock

This course aims to introduce Brown medical students to the core principles and practice of innovation and entrepreneurship in the context of modern medicine. The landscape of medicine is constantly innovating and adapting to new unmet medical needs. The challenges that physicians and innovators encounter every day are critical to understand. We encourage students to think outside-the-box and deeply about potential solutions within specific fields of medicine and healthcare. Each session, we will examine one new medical challenge and explore how talented entrepreneurs are addressing these demands in real-world settings. We will investigate and discuss the structure of each healthcare system to learn more about their intricate functions (from public health to medicine and business) and explore potential routes for innovation.