Medicine in Contemporary Society II (MCS 2) Selectives

Course Goals

MCS 2 gives students an opportunity to expand their knowledge of ethical, social, cultural, and humanistic issues in medicine in a manner reflective of their own career choices and particular interests. MCS 2 focuses on mastery of knowledge and attitudes related especially to the following core competencies: professionalism and ethics, communication, self-awareness, social context of medical care, and health care systems.

Click Here to Register your choice of selecives.

Course Description 2014-2015
The following electives are available for 2012-2013.

1. Sociology of Medicine
2. The Ethics of Hope
3. 9-11 Anatomy of a Healthcare Disaster
4. Decision Making in the ICU
5. Core Concepts in Geriatrics
6. Health Care Economics
7. Children and Ethics
8. Spirituality and Healthcare
9. Hospice as Palliative Care
10. Becoming a Better MD Through Poetry
11. History of Medicine
12. Implications of Antenatal Testing
13. Gender and Medicine

Course Title: Sociology of Medicine
Faculty: Van McCrary

Sociology is a social science that uses systematic methods of qualitative and quantitative investigation, and critical analysis, to develop a body of knowledge about human social structure and activity, often with the goal of applying such knowledge to improve social welfare. This Selective will explore selected topics in sociology of medicine.

Course Title: The Ethics of Hope
Faculty: Stephen Post & Brooke Ellison
From the early 19th century American Codes of Medical Ethics have emphasized the physician’s responsibility to sustain hope in patients. This is a perennial aspect of the “art of medicine.” Thomas Percival famously described the physician as “minister of hope and comfort to the sick.” Hope is variously defined, but seems to pertain to a confidence in future events and circumstances. What are the characteristics of hope? Is it different than optimism? What is it and how does it impact health, well-being, and even the will to live? How do patients gain, sustain, or lose hope? Is hope rooted in community, spirituality, evolved cognitive structures, environment, past experience, etc.? How should physicians cultivate hope in their patients? What is the relationship between hope and truth telling? How can hope be redirected effectively? Is there a biology of hope and of despair that impacts health outcomes?

Course Title: 9-11 Anatomy of a Healthcare Disaster
Faculty: Benjamin Luft
This course offers a multidisciplinary approach examining the environmental, medical, psychological, sociopolitical, and personal factors in treating patients with complex post-disaster cases, like the World Trade Center disaster responders. Students will understand how the 9-11 post-disaster environment contributed to the physical and emotional fragility of WTC responders, the approaches in treating WTC responders’ physical and mental health illnesses, the legal and sociopolitical factors in providing care to WTC responders, and the personal and spiritual factors that shape the motivations and outlook of WTC responders. The course incorporates video clips of WTC responders’ interviews taken from the World Trade Center Oral History Archive Project. These video clips aim to provide students with insight about the range of experiences WTC responders had during and after 9-11, and the importance of considering such experiences when treating complex post-disaster cases.
NB: This last class meeting is from 3 to 5PM

Course Title: Decision Making in the ICU
Faculty: Feroza Daroowalla
Description Decision Making in the ICU will be a seminar series for students who want to explore this topic through reading, discussion, class presentation and writing exercises. Topics include the use of critical care resources, setting goals of critical care intervention, communication about goals of care, and the costs of critical care. Appropriate for students interested in health care policy, critical care medicine (medical, surgical, pediatric, neurologic), geriatrics, end of life care, health care resource management.

Please see the syllabus for slightly different time frame – some sessions begin at 12:30 and some end at 3:30.

Course Title: Core Concepts in Geriatrics
Faculty: Lisa Strano-Paul and Peter D. Kuemmel and
Course Meets from 3 to 5 PM
Americans are aging and the number of people over the age of 65 will double over the next 25 years. Future doctors will require an enhanced understanding of the special needs of this age group. This course will provide students with a broad introduction to the field of geriatrics.

This course meets in the 3 to 5 pm time block

Course Title:Health Care Economics
Faculty: Alan S. Cooper
This course will review the history of healthcare insurance in the United States, focusing on the problems of high costs and inadequate coverage. The course will then discuss how the new healthcare law addresses these problems, its prospects for success, and how the rapid changes may affect the medical student’s career goals.

Course Title:Children and Ethics
Faculty: Kimberly Fenton, MD
Much of the discourse in contemporary medical ethics focuses on the relationship of mature and autonomous patients to their physicians. The world of children as patients is therefore a unique world since these youngest patients have limited ability for self-determination and limited legal status as minors. Those who specialize in the treatment of neonates, children, and adolescents find themselves in a ethically and legally complicated world in which the treatment of a patient as a person is a uniquely challenging ideal.

Course Title: Spirituality and Healthcare
Faculty: Michael Vetrano
Illness is a powerful spiritual experience for patients and their physicians and that both physicians and patients can experience spiritual growth in the partnership of healing. This selective will address some of the most important questions in spirituality and healing:
• How physicians can assess the spiritual resources of their patients.
• What do physicians need to know about theology and spirituality to effectively care for their patients?
• What role does the spirituality of the physician play in the healing of the patient?
• What spiritual skills can physicians use to speak more honestly with patients about death and dying?

Course Title: Hospice as Palliative Care
Faculty: Kathy Van Steen
This selective will present the role of hospice in the terminal care of the dying. As palliative care, hospice offers a method of care that is becoming more mainstream medicine, as it had been in the early days of medicine.

Course Title: Becoming a Better MD Through Poetry
Faculty: Maria Basile
By the study of poetry as it relates to the medical experience, we hope to uncover a closer type of critical reading (attention), an ability for a caregiver to understand and convey the needs and context of a patient (representation), and an appreciation of the common concerns of the healing professions and to explore the use of poetry by some physicians to inform their medical practice (affiliation).

Course Title: History of Medicine
Faculty: Carla Keirns
This course will explore how human health and medical practice have changed in the past two centuries in the United States, focusing on the emergence of some of the tools, technologies, and ideas that underlie contemporary medical practice.

Course Title: Implications of Antenatal Testing
Faculty: Christina Kocis
The goal of this course is to familiarize the student with the common antenatal screening tests which are offered to prenatal patients and to identify their many implications for women and society. A field trip will be assigned for the purpose of observing an actual antenatal test including the patient/provider communication and interactions that result.

Course Title:Gender and Medicine
Faculty:Geri Galotti, MS4
Gender is a complex phenomenon that includes the characteristics, roles and responsibilities of individuals that are socially, culturally and historically determined. Our gender identity impacts our health and acts as a determinant of access and adherence to care, a notion recognized by leading health organizations such as the WHO, UN, and NIH. Yet medical literature often fails to appropriately address gender or relates inaccurate information through misuse of terminology. This course provides a foundation in gender studies with exploration of several topics that intersect modern medicine. Students will learn to develop a framework for the interplay between gender and health. This experience offers a unique gender perspective on patient care and serves to enhance the development of well-rounded physicians.