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Medicine in Contemporary Society (MCS) Core Curriculum

Areas of Focus

Medical Humanities
It is through the humanities that health professionals are sensitized to the patient as a person coping with illness against the background of a healthcare system that can often be de-humanizing. It is through the writing of novels, short stories and poems that professionals and those coping with illness can express their insights and experiences. MCS 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 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.

Compassionate Care
The art of healing requires compassion and emotional intelligence on the part of clinicians, yet many patients and their families do not experience care in this basic sense. As the connection between healing and emotions becomes better understood scientifically, we need to renew a commitment to compassionate care that is grounded in leading edge research, scholarship, and educational efforts.

Bioethics is the systematic study of the moral dimensions – including moral vision, decisions, conduct, and policies – of the life sciences and health care, employing a variety of ethical methodologies in an interdisciplinary setting. From the beginning to the end of life, biotechnologies and healthcare raise every conceivable question about human dignity and the very future of human nature itself.

Core Units Offered 
Date Topic Faculty Divisions
8/16 Medicine as a Profession Dr. Jack Coulehan & Dr. Maria Basile The Illness Experience
8/30 What is the Illness experience? Dr. Michael Vetrano & Dr. Basile The Illness Experience
9/20 Health Care Inequalities / Disparities Dr. Phyllis Migdal The Illness Experience
10/4 Learning to Practice Compassionate Care: Perspectives Dr. Stephen Post The Illness Experience
10/18 Pain/Ethics/Substance Abuse Dr. Kevin Zacharoff Compassionate Care
10/25 Autonomy: Respecting the Patient's Self-Determination Dr. Vetrano Compassionate Care
11/1 Facing Mortality- Spirituality and Health Dr. Vetrano Compassionate Care

The Ethics of Gender and Identity- caring for LGBTQ+ Persons

Dr. Alison Eliscu Compassionate Care
11/29 Directives and Decisions Dr. Vetrano Bioethics: Ethical Standards in the Clinical Setting
12/13 Personal Conscience- Abortion and Medical Practice TBD Bioethics: Ethical Standards in the Clinical Setting
1/10 Narrative Medicine Dr. Coulehan & Dr. Basile Bioethics: Ethical Standards in the Clinical Setting
1/31 Professional Duties Dr. Basile and Andrew T. Garbarino, JD Bioethics: Ethical Standards in the Clinical Setting
2/21 Addressing Structural Racism in Medicine: Our Role in Creating an Anti-Racist Health Care System  Dr. Cordia Beverley and Dr. Zacharoff  Social Contexts of Care
3/7 Dementia and Society Dr. Post Social Contexts of Care
3/21 Respect for Human Subjects Dr. Marie Gelato Social Contexts of Care
4/4 Medical Finance Dr. Basile Social Contexts of Care

View MCS  Selectives