Course Detail
Course Components:
The Layers of Medicine series of courses is an ongoing dialogue about the interdisciplinary complexities and challenges of health care. This dialogue is rooted in both the very large and very small. We will attend to the 'big picture' conceptualization of what medical care means and the broader socio-cultural factors that shape its delivery. At the same time, we will attend closely to the unique particularities of the patient-doctor relationship: analyzing ethically and practically challenging scenarios and examining issues of professionalism in medicine. Medical education in the clinical years is designed to synthesize and apply scientific knowledge to the clinical setting. The practice of medicine is complex, messy, and challenging on interpersonal, ethical, and sociocultural levels. We will study and discuss a broad range of issues that do not have easily formulated answers, with the fundamental assumption that reflective skills are critical to the development and practice of a physician, which will be honed with tools and practice throughout the course. The material covered in this elective course follows topics and approaches covered in the required LOM courses, which can be thought of as foundational “layers” of knowledge necessary, alongside scientific and clinical courses, for delivering best and most appropriate care. This elective provides a more intensive exploration, thus extending our geological metaphor to “digging deeper” into what those foundations hold. Exploring foundations means risking stability and potentially rebuilding, which we understand to be a central goal to any academic pursuit. Therefore, we see this course as particularly focused on the current goals of the School of Medicine toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. We plan to explore not only topics, such as health inequities in particular communities but also approaches to medical education and practice, with creating an actively anti-racist, truly inclusive curriculum as an immediate impetus. The metaphor of “layers” has always reflected the intent to have the material covered in this course be interspersed with other aspects of the curriculum. What we are able to discover together in this course could and should be partnered with other educational and clinical activities. Individual sections of this course will cover topics chosen by instructors, based on material covered in LOM, but more focused, in-depth, and relevant to current events, issues, and concerns. Each section instructor will provide details of topics covered in the syllabus and description for that section.