Welcome to the home page for the Non-Clinical Elective component of the Yale School of Medicine curriculum.
Yale School of Medicine offers many diverse and challenging elective experiences for medical students, that are overseen by committed faculty members. There is an ongoing process to review and improve electives to ensure the greatest quality and variety of learning experiences.
Elective Catalog Listing
Creating Healthcare and Life Science Ventures
This course will give students a broad understanding of the major “new venture” opportunities in healthcare & medicine---healthcare delivery, healthcare IT and the digital health landscape, biotechnology, medical devices, and healthcare process redesign especially in the surgical space. In each of these areas, they will understand the canonical path to commercialization including how to identify “unmet clinical needs”, market opportunities; who is the customer; how to build interdisciplinary teams; regulatory hurdles to commercialization, and creation of a business strategy. The course is designed for a diverse student body including students from management, natural sciences, medicine, law, nursing and healthcare management program. The course comprises lectures, raw cases, guest speakers, and in-class projects with coaching from the venture investor community.
Classes are held in the Yale School of Management, Evans Hall.
Course Number: MD 1275 (MGT 657)
Evolution and Medicine
Intended audience: undergraduates who have had at least one biology course and medical students taking it as an elective.
Class size: The class will be capped at 15 with the target roughly 50% undergraduates and 50% medical students.
Format: The course is flipped, by which I mean the lectures are recorded and available on the web. Each week the assigned lectures and corresponding assigned reading in the text should be viewed/read before coming to class. That assignment will be tested with short-answer quizzes and reading responses, which must be submitted before class. Those who have not submitted those responses will not be allowed to come to class. Class will consist of discussion of the points in the lectures and readings that were found to be difficult and of recent research papers relevant to the topic at hand.
Evaluation and grading: The course is writing intensive for undergraduates, who must sign up for a section led by a teaching fellow who will give most of the feedback on writing. Their writing assignment will be a paper of 15-20 pages on a topic in evolutionary medicine chosen by the student and developed through outlines and drafts with multiple opportunities for feedback and revision. The assignment for medical students will be to substantially improve the Wikipedia page on a topic of their choice in evolutionary medicine. There will be no midterm and no final. For undergraduates, the semester papers will count for 50% of the grade, class participation will count for 25%, and the answers to the weekly questions will count for 25%.
Students will have a required text for this course.
Course Numbers: MD 1300 (E&EB 235 / HLTH 250)
French for Healthcare Professionals
French for Health Care Professionals is a hybrid course offered in Fall and Spring by the Yale Center for Language Study. This hybrid course will meet two times a week: one time in a traditional classroom on campus (face-to-face) and another time online. All students in this course will be required to have a laptop, a headset, and access to the high speed Internet to participate in the online component of the class. During the online meetings, the students will be expected to be in a quiet space where they will be able to participate in online oral discussions. The course site is located in Canvas and the online meetings will use the online conference tool Big Blue Button in Canvas.
The course fee is $140 for students enrolled in a participating Yale Department or Program. The course fee for students not enrolled at Yale is $175, payable to the Yale University prior the start of the first class. You will be refunded the course fee if you drop within the first week (not later than 5:00pm of the first Friday). Should you drop after the first week, you (or your Program/School) will be responsible for the full course fee.
Required Placement Test: You will be given a brief placement test meant to gauge your current abilities and to assist us in placing you in an appropriate course. The placement test, including a video clip and a brief digital recording component, will ideally take no longer than 20 minutes of your time.
If you have any questions, please contact: email@example.com
Course Numbers: MD 1400
This course will cover fundamentals of inflammation from a broad biological perspective. Both physiological and pathological aspects of inflammation will be the focus of this course. This course is primarily for pre-clerkship medical students.
Course Numbers: MD 1350 (IBIO 532)
Physicians as Leaders
Student Class Level: Open to all YSM students
Maximum students/enrollment period: 20 students
Scheduling Restrictions: Fall semester only
This 12-week elective will expose students to a range of leadership skills and leadership roles within the Yale medical community. Students will gain more insight into how they function as both a member and a leader of a team, and will receive constructive feedback on how to maximize their leadership ability. The goal of this elective is to give interested students an environment in which to discuss effective leadership, ethical and collaborative decision-making, and teamwork. Additionally, students will have substantive discussion with students of other years, campus leaders and faculty members with the goal of building lasting connections within our community.
Course Learning Objectives:
1. By the end of this elective, students should be able to describe how they function as both a member and a leader of a team.
2. By the end of this elective, students should be able to Identify how leaders in the field of healthcare apply skills and frameworks in real life situations.
3. By the end of this elective, students should be able to apply a range of leadership skills within a healthcare setting.
Spanish for Health Care Professionals
Spanish for Health Care Professionals is a hybrid course offered in Fall and Spring by the Yale Center for Language Study. This hybrid course will meet two times a week: one time in a traditional classroom on campus (face-to-face) and another time online. All students in this course will be required to have a laptop, a headset, and access to the high speed Internet to participate in the online component of the class. During the online meetings, the students will be expected to be in a quiet space where they will be able to participate in online oral discussions. The course site is located in Canvas and the online meetings will use the online conference tool Big Blue Button in Canvas. The course fee is $140 for students enrolled in a participating Yale Department or Program. The course fee for students not enrolled at Yale is $175, payable to the Yale University prior the start of the first class. You will be refunded the course fee if you drop within the first week (not later than 5:00pm of the first Friday). Should you drop after the first week, you (or your Program/School) will be responsible for the full course fee.
Required Placement Test: You will be given a brief placement test meant to gauge your current abilities and to assist us in placing you in an appropriate course. The placement test, including a video clip and a brief digital recording component, will ideally take no longer than 20 minutes of your time
If you have any questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Numbers: MD 1375
Uncertainty in Medicine: Critical Thinking and Decision Making Elective
The goal for this course is to recognize that while much of medical education is traditionally centered on accrual of information for rapid recall, the healthcare profession is riddled with uncertainty and incomplete information. Healthcare providers are faced with multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary problems whose solutions require a combination of rigor, creativity and collaboration. While our current approach to medical education is only reinforced by emphasis on short-answer standardized tests as metrics of aptitude, this course aims to combat that emphasis and prepare students for the complexities of the medical field by focusing on critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a case-based collaborative environment.
The seminar is intended for 16-20 students. It will meet weekly at noon for 6-8 weeks from mid-June to early August. Preparation outside of class time will also be required. We will use case-based exercises to analyze topics that have contemporary relevance to be medicine, e.g. development of screening programs for cancer or reporting and reduction of medical error.
These exercises will utilize collaborative approach aimed at developing several distinct skills: defining the scope of a complex problem; reducing a problem into definable parts; examining each part from multiple angles; prioritizing the parts and their potential solutions; and committing to an actionable solution while acknowledging unaddressed complexities and unknowns.
Course Numbers: MD 1325
Seminar in Healer's Art
The Healer’s Art is an innovative discovery model course in values clarification and professionalism for first- through fourth-year medical students now offered annually at 90+ U.S. medical schools as well as medical schools around the world. Designed in 1991 by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. and offered at Yale School of Medicine since 1999, the course offers a safe learning environment for a personal in-depth exploration of the time-honored values of service, healing relationship, reverence for life and compassionate care.
The Healer’s Art course utilizes principles of adult education, contemplative studies, humanistic and transpersonal psychology, cognitive psychology, formation education, creative arts and storytelling to present and explore human dimensions of medicine rarely discussed in medical training. Topics covered include deep listening, presence, acceptance, loss, grief, healing, relationship, encounters with awe and mystery and self-care practices. The curriculum enables students to uncover and strengthen the altruistic values, sense of calling and intention to serve that have led them to medicine, creating a firm foundation for meeting the challenging demands of contemporary medical training and practice.
In a rigorous standardized course evaluation, the thousands of students nationwide and internationally who take the course every year report that it fills a gap in their existing curriculum and enables them to make the practice of medicine uniquely their own.
Faculty are often as profoundly affected by the course as the students, reporting a renewal of their enthusiasm for teaching and their love of medicine. Students and faculty participate together in a discovery model that transcends the divisiveness of expertise to explore service as a way of life. The process-based curriculum takes a highly innovative, interactive, contemplative and didactic approach to enabling students to uncover and recognize the personal and universal meaning in the daily work of medicine.
The Healer’s Art Course seeks to:
• Provide support for first- and second-year medical students in recognizing, valuing, enhancing and preserving the human dimension of health care.
• Enable students and faculty to experience a collegial relationship that is nonjudgmental, noncompetitive and “harmless,” and to enable students and faculty to form a harmless relationship that offers all a unique professional support system and healing community.
• Recognize the need for self-care in order to provide good patient care and avoid burnout.
• Recognize grief as a self-care strategy for physicians, and identify strategies and tools of grieving.
• Recognize that there are losses that cannot be fixed.
• Recognize the presence of mystery and awe in the practice of medicine.
• Develop greater comfort in discussing mystery, awe and death with peers.
• Formulate a personal commitment to medicine and make that commitment visible among peers.
• Legitimize openness and dialogue with colleagues and patients in the areas of service, mission and calling.
• Recognize that who they are is as important to their patients as what they know.
The Healer’s Art Course will furthermore provide an opportunity for academic and community physicians to:
• Consolidate at greater depth their understanding of a new paradigm of medical education.
• Experience teaching from this new perspective.
• Gain skill in small group participatory leadership.
• Gain skill in the dissemination of innovative ideas.
• Experience sharing the values of the Hippocratic Oath: compassion, service, harmlessness, reverence for life and covenant, with those at various levels of training.
Seminar in Medical (Mal)Practices Under the Nazi Regime
- The main goals of this seminar are to provide information about the activities of medical professionals during the Third Reich, to promote discussion of the history of the profession the students are entering, to foster conversation about key ethical challenges, and to spur contemplation of how this history connects to the present. Although the events under consideration took place about 80 years ago, echoes of the history remain (e.g., the principle of informed consent), and certain issues emerging from this period are still prompting vigorous debate (e.g., the ethics of utilizing data collected during criminal experiments). Most discussions of this period in medical history focus on the deeds of medical practitioners and scientists affiliated with the German regime, but this seminar also examines the behavior of Jewish doctors who utilized their medical training towards a variety of ends in ghettos and concentration camps. As a result, central themes include power dynamics and moral complexity.
The seminar is intended for 12-15 students. It will meet one time per week over a four-week period. Each class meeting will run approximately 90 minutes and will be split into two halves with a short break in the middle. Class time will be a combination of lecture, discussion, and primary source analysis (incl. watching survivor video testimonies). Preparation for each meeting will require one to two hours of work consisting of reading, watching testimony, and writing responses. No prior knowledge of German or Holocaust history is required.
Class will run:
4 weeks 5/20/19 to 6/14/19 block.
Seminar will meet on (4) Wednesdays from 5:00 – 6:30pm.
*short break after 40 minutes
Director of Electives
Jessica Illuzzi, MD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences. She also serves as the Director of Medical Studies in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The Teaching and Learning Center has committed faculty and staff supporting educators at every level, providing expertise in educator development, assessment, learning technologies and curriculum design.