Electives for Fourth-Year Medical Students

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Electives for Fourth-Year Medical Students

Students in their fourth year are encouraged to round out their medical education at UVA with study of the medical humanities and biomedical ethics. Humanities and ethics study can help students to (1) cultivate skills of critical and reflective thought; (2) reflect on ethics, values, traditions, spiritual concerns, and professional life; (3) explore the many dimensions and contexts of human experience; and (4) attend to their own formation as professionals. Skills acquired and refined through study of the humanities and ethics contribute to humanistic qualities and professional competencies that medical schools and residency programs routinely assess, including communication and narrative skills, compassion, self-reflection, ethics and professionalism, respect for others, cultural understanding, and understanding of medicine in society.

Humanities and ethics electives are offered throughout fourth year. Most are four-week courses. A student may take up to eight weeks total of humanities and bioethics course work toward graduation. Courses are offered only if there is an enrollment of at least four students.

UVA's medical humanities electives address core competencies as follows:

Narrative Medicine and Professionalism

Literature and Medicine
Images of Medicine in Film, Literature, and Visual Arts
Interprofessional Seminars in Ethics & Professional Life

Biomedical Ethics
Ethics in Healthcare Systems
Medicine, Law, and Ethics
Reflection and Spirituality

Religious Traditions and Medicine
Mindful Practice/Mindful Life
Suffering, Medicine, and Faith

Cultural Competence
Culture and Medicine
Elementary Medical Spanish - Language & Culture
Intermediate Medical Spanish - Language & Culture

Medicine and Society
History of Medicine
Public Health in Fiction and Film
Ethics, Society, and Human Biology

All competencies
The Calls of Medicine
Independent Research in Humanities

Humanities and Ethics in Medicine Electives for Fourth-Year Medical Students
 2012-2013

All courses are four weeks unless otherwise noted.

Rotation 5: 27 August-22 September 2012 (drop by 30 July)

Elementary Medical Spanish—Language and Culture (3520), directed by Rafael Triana, taught by Beatriz Cortabarria. Offers introductory-level intensive instruction in basic medically related Spanish and looks at cultural issues relevant to the care of Spanish-speaking patients. No prior knowledge of Spanish required. This course is filled.

Rotation 7: 22 October-17 Nov 2012 (drop by 24 Sept)

Religious Traditions and Medicine (3501), directed by James Childress, with faculty of the Department of Religious Studies and School of Medicine. Examines the world's major religious traditions' views of and responses to the body, health, illness, suffering, and death, and, through case studies, explores relationships between religious understandings and ethical practice of medicine.

 Rotation 8: 26 November-8 December 2012; 7-19 January 2013 (drop by 22 Oct)

Culture and Medicine (3507), directed by Gertrude Fraser. Focuses the anthropologist's lens on Western biomedicine as a cultural system, on the learning and practice of medicine, and on health disparities in the U.S. due to gender, race, and class.

Images of Medicine in Film, Literature, and the Visual Arts (3508-two weeks, Rotation 8B: 7-19 Jan 2013), directed by Marcia Day Childress. Explores images and conceptions of physicians and the patients they see, and looks also at the diverse social and cultural contexts in which medicine is practiced.

  Rotation 9: 21 January-16 February 2013 (drop by 8 Dec)  

Literature and Medicine (3503), directed by Marcia Day Childress. Examines fiction and nonfiction, poetry, drama, and film having to do with illness and doctoring, with emphasis on patient and physician writers and the issues that interest them and attention to narrative practices common to both literature and medicine.

Black Physicians: History and Health Disparities (3528—two weeks, Rotation 9A, 21 Jan-2 Feb; 9B, 4-16 Feb), directed by Preston Reynolds. Examines the history of African American physicians in the U.S., with focus on reversing discrimination in health care and reducing health disparities.

Global Health—Caring for Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Applicants (3526, two weeks—Rotation 9B: 4-16 Feb), directed by Preston Reynolds. Offers instruction on the legal process of refugee placement and application for asylum, and training in diagnosing and evaluating medical evidence of human rights violations.

  Rotation 10: 18 February-16 March 2013 (drop by 21 Jan)

Medical Spanish—Language and Culture (3515), directed by Rafael Triana, taught by Beatriz Cortabarria. Offers intermediate-level intensive instruction in medically related Spanish and examines cultural issues in the care of Spanish-speaking patients. Prior study and knowledge of Spanish required. This course is filled.

Ethics in Health Care Systems (3907), directed by Donna Chen and Ann Mills. Examines organizationally based health care with emphasis on the ethical responsibilities of and issues for physicians in complex patient care delivery systems.

Black Physicians: History and Health Disparities (3528—two weeks, Rotation 10A, 18 Feb-2 March), directed by Preston Reynolds. Examines the history of African American physicians in the U.S., with focus on reversing discrimination in health care and reducing health disparities.

  Rotation 11: 18 March-13 April 2013 (drop by 16 Feb)

History of Medicine (3506), directed by Luke Demaitre. Explores the history of medicine through study of landmark texts, changing understandings of the body and certain diseases, and the evolution of medical institutions. This course is filled.

Global Health—Caring for Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Applicants (3526—two weeks—Rotation 11B: 18-30 March), directed by Preston Reynolds. Offers instruction on the legal process of refugee placement and application for asylum, and training in diagnosing and evaluating medical evidence of human rights violations.

  By arrangement in any Rotation,1 through 12:

Suffering, Medicine, and Faith (3514), directed by Margaret Mohrmann. Explores patients' and physicians' spiritual beliefs and practices as these influence understandings of the body, health, illness, suffering, death, and medical practice.

- Research in Humanities (3509, up to 8 weeks), directed by Marcia Day Childress, Daniel Becker, and other faculty. Independent research and writing or creative arts projects on a topic in the humanities or related to the human and socio- or biocultural dimensions of health or illness. Proposal must be approved at least one month in advance of project start date.

Research in Biomedical Ethics (3527, up to 8 weeks), directed by Margaret Mohrmann. Independent research focused on biomedical ethics. Proposal must be approved at least one month in advance of project start date.

 By arrangement, throughout the year

Interprofessional Seminar in Ethical Values & Professional Life (3518, three sections; one week), directed by Marcia Day Childress and Ruth Gaare Bernheim. Each seminar enrolls a mix of students from Medicine and Law, Medicine and Graduate Arts & Sciences, or Medicine, Law, and Architecture. Readings from literature spark consideration of moral and ethical dimensions of professional life. Seminars are taught by pairs of faculty from Medicine, Law, or Arts & Sciences and meet five evenings during the academic year. This elective runs concurrently with other electives.

 For detailed descriptions, see http://www.med-ed.virginia.edu/handbook/electives/humanities/index.cfm