Skip Navigation

Medicine in Contemporary Society Selectives

Course Goals

MCS Selectives give 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.

Click Here to Register your choice of selectives.

Index of Selectives for 2019
  1.   Becoming a Better MD Through Poetry - Astonished Harvest
  2.   Children and Ethics
  3.   Decision Making in the ICU
  4.    The Doctor Patient Relationship
  5.    Treated Differently: Bias, Healthcare Disparities, and the Practice of Medicine
  6.    Telehealth: Docs, Data, and Disruptive Technologies
  7.    Hospice as Palliative Care
  8.   Implications of Antenatal Testing 
  9.   Health Law for Physicians
  10.   Pain, Drugs, and Ethics
  11.   Art and Diagnostic Observation in Medicine
  12.   Spirituality and Healthcare
  13.   Quality and Safety in Medicine
  14.   Integrative Medicine and Wellness
Descriptions and Syllabi

Course Title: Becoming a Better MD Through Poetry - Astonished Harvest
Faculty:  Jack Coulehan, MD , Richard Bronson Syllabus
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). Note: This course requires time commitment outside the class day. Attendance at four Monday evening meetings of the group are required. See the syllabus.

Course Title: Children and Ethics
Faculty:   Rina Meyer, MD and  Kathleen Culver, DNP, RN, CPNP-AC  and
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:  Decision Making in the ICU
Faculty:   Mohamed Mansour, MD, FCCP
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. Note: One of the class sessions will be rescheduled.

Course Title: The Doctor Patient Relationship as a Tool in Primary Care
Faculty:  Jeffrey Trilling, MD
Within the context of primary care, there are acute, short-term illnesses, much of it transient and self-limiting, and a high prevalence of chronic illnesses and behavioral problems. All of these circumstances require a broadening of context from a biomedical to that of a biopsychosocial approach to medical problem-solving that heavily relies on a well-nurtured, healthy patient-doctor relationship.

Course Title: Treated Differently: Bias, Healthcare Disparities and the Practice of Medicine
Faculty:  Phyllis Migdal, MD
Disparity in health and healthcare leads to worsening health status in vulnerable populations. Health disparity is described as differences in health status that is unfair, avoidable, and unjust. This course will discuss factors that contribute to health disparity with particular attention to implicit bias within providers and its impact on treatment decisions and health outcomes.  The association of allostatic load and health will also be examined.

Course Title: Telehealth: Docs, Data, and Disruptive Technologies
Faculty: Kimberly Noel, MD MPH and Erin Hulfish, MD
In the era of disruptive technologies in healthcare, clinicians will reach a new frontier in medical practice. With more data, technology and medical literature than ever before, how will the physicians role adapt to the changing environment of the greatest reforms in healthcare? This selective will serve to introduce the topics of telehealth and telemedicine and discuss the advances in field as well as the laws, ethics, regulations and the evolving doctor-patient relationship. The course will aim to review the applications of telemedicine and future implications to the practice of medicine.

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 has become main-stream, unlike it had been in the early days of modern medicine.

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: Health Law for Physicians
Faculty:  Julie Agris, PhD, JD, LLM
Health Law for Physicians is a brief introduction to select topics of interest to physicians, including the formation of the physician-patient relationship, regulation and liability related to this unique relationship and the status of issues related to finance and reimbursement in the age of health reform.

Course Title: Pain, Drugs, and Ethics
Faculty: Kevin Zacharoff
Pain is one of the most common reasons that people seek medical attention in the United States today. Since 2000 it has been considered to be the "Fifth Vital Sign." For physicians the management and control of pain poses many ethical problems. Among these this course will consider the increased prescribing of opioid medications for patients with chronic pain, along with abuse, misuse, and addiction related to these medications. We will also examine the special issues of terminal sedation, physician assisted suicide, the legal and ethical issues involved in assisting people with intractable pain, and the special issues of children and minors.

Course Title:  Art and Diagnostic Observation in Medicine
Faculty:  Stephen Post, PhD  and Gina Polizzo, MS3
Following the lead of the Icahn School of Medicine’s course entitled The Pulse of Art, this selective “harnesses the power of significant works of art to increase the observation skills and empathic responses of medical students.”  Courses on art, observation, diagnostic accuracy and empathic physician-patient communication are ongoing at many medical schools, including Yale, Harvard, Lerner/Cleveland Clinic, and Mt. Sinai.  This selective draws on art-based principles of observation in order to enhance visual diagnostic skills in physicians and medical practitioners.

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: Quality and Safety in Medicine
Faculty: Jean Mueller
This Selective will examine Patient Safety and Quality Improvement strategies and evaluation techniques that can improve performance and outcome measures in the delivery of health care services throughout the continuum of care.

Course Title: Integrative Medicine and Wellness
Faculty:   Monica Patel MS4 with Faculty Mentor Raja Jaber
“Integrative Medicine & Wellness” is a brief introduction to select topics of interest to physicians, including alternative, complementary, holistic, spiritual and traditional ways of healing. Integrative Medicine combines the best in Conventional and Alternative Medicine to help patients reach a place of healing in the face of chronic disease. Additionally, a critical component of optimal care is the health of the physician who treats that patient. Along with learning about new approaches to treatment, students will also work on developing creative strategies for personal wellness and self-care.