Ethics and Law in Medicine | Medical Humanities Seminars | Summary of Required Courses | Residency Teaching | Electives

Ethics and Law in Medicine

Ethics and Law in Medicine is a major theme integrated through the four-year medical curriculum. Through case exercises, lectures and small discussion groups, it provides a basic foundation in bioethics and health care law. Students explore the interrelationships among ethics, law and medicine and acquire the theoretical framework to analyze ethical dilemmas common in clinical practice. Specific learning objectives relate to a wide variety of topics, including end-of-life decision making, informed consent, research, reproductive issues, conflict of interest, medical malpractice, and forensic medicine.

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Medical Humanities Seminars

In the integrated Double Helix curriculum, as part of the first-year program, students are required to take one Medical Humanities Seminar, and are welcome to take a second. Students in their second year are similarly required to take one seminar, but are encouraged to take another. Each seminar meets weekly for 8 weeks. The seminars are taught by clinical and academic faculty within the medical school, and in collaboration with faculty and graduate students from departments of History, Anthropology, Visual and Cultural Studies, and English Literature.

Each year, the Division offers up to thirty different seminars from classical humanities disciplines (history, philosophy, comparative religion, literature), and the social sciences (cultural anthropology, sociology, political theory and public policy). The seminars contextualize medicine as a profoundly human enterprise, and invite students to consider what physicians are, and what they do in a broad social, cultural, political, and intellectual context. The seminars provide a forum in which students can reflect and shape their own evolving understanding and experiences of the practice and art of medicine.

For more information on any of the Medical Humanities seminars, contact Stephanie Brown Clark, course director.

Medical Humanities Seminars 2013-2014

Seminars for First-Year Students

Seminars for Second-Year Students

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Required Courses

First Year

  • Medical Humanities Seminars: each student takes one (required) or a second (optional) eight-week seminar, 2 hours per week (16 hours required, 32 hours optional)
  • Ethics and Law in Medicine (theme, taught in the integrated courses of the curriculum, approximately 15 hours)

Second Year

  • Medical Humanities Seminars: each student takes one (required) or two (optional) eight- week seminar, 2 hours per week (16 hours required, 32 hours optional)
  • Ethics and Law in Medicine: theme, taught in the integrated courses of the curriculum (approximately 20 hours)

Third Year

Medicine clerkship (six rotations) Clinical Ethics 1 hour
Pediatrics clerkship (six rotations) Informed Consent and Medical Ethics 1 1/2 hours
  Literature 1 1/2 hours
Obstetrics clerkship (six rotations) Informed consent 1 hour

Fourth Year

Intensive Case Study Block Varying content integrated through short and long case study exercises 10-20 hours
Informed Consent Selective (offered twice)   2 hours

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Residency Teaching

Faculty in the Division are involved in residency training, including:

  • ICU clinical ethics teaching rounds: Monthly one-hour sessions in PICU, NICU, MICU, SICU, and Hem/Onc BMTU*
  • Clinical Ethics skills block for Primary Care Medicine 2nd year residents (4 hours)
    • *PICU: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
    • NICU: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
    • MICU: Medical Intensive Care Unit
    • SICU: Surgical Intensive Care Unit
    • BTMU: Bone Marrow Transplant Unit

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Throughout the double helix curriculum are opportunities for students to pursue areas of interest. The Division offers a number of electives in humanities and in ethics, including:

  • Documentary Film Making and Medicine
  • Creative Writing
  • Literature and Medicine
  • Philosophy
  • History of Medicine
  • Art, Medicine and Literature ( Memorial Art Gallery)
  • Independent Research/Creative Project in Medical Humanities
  • Medicine and Law
  • Clinical Medical Ethics (2 weeks full-time, or part-time over 3 - 4 weeks)
  • Clinical Ethics and Palliative Care (4 weeks—available third and fourth year).
  • Clinical Ethics Research

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Interdisciplinary Clinical Ethics Noon Conferences

Under the Knife Near the End of Life: Contradiction or Congruity
Presented by Carolyn E. Jones, M.D., Associate Professor, Surgery (Thoracic)
Wed, April 1, 2015, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Room K-207 (2-6408)

Medical Humanities and Bioethics Noon Conferences

No noon conference in April.