Medicine Subspecialties


Medicine: Special Clinical Areas & Research

117 Clinical Cardiology-BMC (Menino Pavilion)

Once scheduled, a student will not be released from a cardiology elective unless a substitute is provided.

Instructor: Sheilah Bernard, M.D.

Location:Boston Medical Center (88 E. Newton St., Collamore Building, 7th Fl.)
Telephone: 638-8902- Rebecca Hall    email:


Number of Students: 2
Period to be Offered: One month

Description of Elective:

During this clinical elective, the student will become a member of the
Cardiology Consult Team comprised of a staff cardiologist,a cardiology fellow and one to three PGY-2’s. As an integral member of this team based at Menino Pavilion, the student will share in the responsibilities for patient evaluation, management and disposition. The aim of the elective will be to expose the student to a wide variety of cardiac patients. The fundamentals of the cardiac examination as well as therapeutics will be emphasized. The significance, usefulness and manner of performing special diagnostic studies including electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, exercise stress tests, holter monitors, nuclear scans and cardiac catheterizations will be taught and applied to patient care.

All students and residents are expected to develop competency in EKG reading offered during the rotation. By special arrangement, additional elective time can be provided for certain students with a special interest in arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, echocardiography, stress testing or clinical research.

Teaching activities include:

1)Daily rounds with Staff Cardiologist
2)EKG reading
3)Cardiology Grand Rounds
4)Medical/Surgical Conference
5)Arrhythmia Conference
6)Imaging Conference
7)Research Conference
8)Cardiomyopathy Conference
9)Core Curriculum Conference



123.6 Medical Intensive Care Unit at the West Roxbury VA

Instructors: Jussi Saukkonen, M.D. and VA Pulmonary and Critical Care attending physicians

VA Boston Healthcare System
1400 VFW Parkway
West Roxbury, MA 02132

Telephone:1 857-203-6478 contact: Susan Cieri

Number of Students: One
Period to be Offered: One Month

Description of Elective:

Students will actively participate in the care of critically ill patients with a variety of medical diseases. Daily rounds are made with discussion of latest pathophysiology and treatment. Night call responsibility is every third night. In general, the student is expected to shoulder a considerable amount of responsibility in regard to the admission and treatment of critically ill patients and perform as a member of the team. The West Roxbury VA is a combined Boston University and Harvard Medical School service.

Note: This elective requires completion of an additional VA Health System application and fingerprinting. Please obtain contact information from elective coordinator upon sign-up.

124.1 Elective in Vascular Medicine

Instructor: Robert Eberhardt, M.D.

Location: Boston Medical Center (C-703B)
Telephone: 638-8947-Sandra Vanaria

Number of Students: One
Period to be offered: One month

Description of Elective:

This is designed to be a comprehensive rotation in cardiovascular disorders with emphasis on vascular problems. Students will gain an exposure to the evaluation and management of vascular disorders affecting the arterial, venous, and lymphatic systems, as well as vasospastic disorders. Emphasis will be placed on learning the presentation, physical findings, diagnostics, and therapeutics. The indications, techniques, and interpretation of vascular studies will be taught. Students will be expected to fully participate in the clinical and educational activities including:
• Inpatient vascular medical consultations including cardiac consultation for vascular surgery
• Outpatient clinic, which includes new consultation and longitudinal care of patients with vascular disease
• Non-invasive vascular laboratory and peripheral interventional laboratory
• Vascular conferences including an interdisciplinary vascular conference and a vascular laboratory journal club

As mentioned above, there is heavy emphasis placed on a comprehensive cardiovascular approach to the vascular disease patient. Student can expect to be exposed to and provide care for many cardiac disorders, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease, and arrhythmias, especially during the perioperative evaluation and management. This will include an understanding and application of the diagnostic cardiac studies, including electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, exercise and pharmacologic stress test, and cardiac catheterization.

*This elective will be offered January 2015-May 2015

127.8 Clinical Research Hypertension/Nephrology Elective

Instructor: Marc S Weinberg, MD, FACP, Chief of Nephrology, RWMC and Clinical Professor of Medicine, B.U.S.M.

Location: Providence, R.I. at our Hypertension/Research center at 125 Corliss Street, Providence, R.I., the site of our outpatient dialysis facility associated with Roger Williams Medical Center, a B.U.S.M. Affiliated program.
Telephone: (401) 861-7711

Number of students: 1-2
Period to be Offered: Three months is preferable but may be as little as one month at discretion of course manager.

Description of Elective: House officers in their medical residencies, fellows in training, medical students or undergraduate students demonstrating specific interests, will be allowed to enroll in this course after approval by the course director. Since clinical studies can be a large source of support for both academic and clinical research, this elective will teach all aspects of how to set-up and perform clinical trials. Individuals will be taught how to write and identify good clinical studies; and identify weaknesses in other trials written by the pharmaceutical industry. Emphasis will be on patient safety and identifying what trials you will be able to perform and complete concisely.

We will teach how to organize and integrate trials so that several can be performed at one time. Once a study is identified, each individual will be assigned to a primary program they are interested in. They will screen patients as required by the study. Students or physicians will be allowed to assume as much responsibility as is appropriate for their particular degree of education, supervised also by the course director.

How to interact with study clinical monitors and react to mild or significant adverse effects from drugs will be taught. Communicating this information to both pharmaceutical companies and Institutional Review Boards will be reviewed.

After data is collected and the study is completed, all students and physicians will present their research project at our nephrology research conferences. In addition they will be taught how to write a concise abstract, and send it to a national or international meeting for presentation and publication. Writing a complete paper will be stressed. Editorial assistance is provided by the course supervisor. Those medical and undergraduate students will be encouraged to present their work in their other related classes in main campus (we will assist in this effort.) Lastly, the economic feasibility of setting-up and directing their own center will be reviewed with each individual.

Contact information
Marc S Weinberg, MD, FACP or kininmd @
(401) 861-7711

128.1 Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition

Instructors: Caroline M. Apovian, M.D., Lewis E. Braverman, M.D., Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D., Nawfal Istfan, M.D., Ph.D., Stephanie Lee, M.D., Robert Levin, M.D., Alan Malabanan, M.D., James Melby, M.D., Elizabeth Pearce, M.D., Samara Peña, M.D., Joshua Safer, M.D., Elliot Sternthal, M.D., and Elizabeth Pearce, M.D.

Location: Evans Building, Boston Medical Center-East Newton Pavilion-Room E201
Contact: Jim McCarthy
Telephone: (617) 638-8556

Number of Students: 2 (priority given to BU students)

Period to be Offered: One Month

Description of Elective:

The student works closely with the faculty in the OPD clinics and on the inpatient consult service. They will see a wide variety of endocrine and weight management problems in the clinics. The consultation team provides help in the diagnosis and management of complex endocrine problems on the medical and surgical services. Formal rounds are made with the endocrine-attending physician on a daily basis. Students are required to attend weekly endocrine conferences which include guest lecturers, research conferences and fellow case presentations, as well as 2 weekly fellows’ conference devoted to endocrine diagnosis and management issues.


129.1    Transgender Medicine

Department of Endocrinology-Boston University School of Medicine

Instructors: Joshua D. Safer, M.D., FACP, Director, Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program, Jeffrey H. Spiegel, M.D., Plastic Surgery, Pam Klein, RN, Primary Care-Medicine, Norman P. Spack, M.D. , Pediatrics

Contact: Devon Carr (H-3600)

Telephone: 617 414-5634

Goal and Summary:

This elective is for the BUSM student to learn the multi-disciplinary approach to appropriate care for transgender individuals.

The transgender medicine elective will focus on the initial, continued and primary care of the transgender individual.

Students will interact with patients interested in changing their gender and who have changed their gender, either medically or surgically.  The will learn the endocrinological mechanisms of puberty as these parallel the hormonal and pharmacological interventions used in transgender medicines.  Students will participate in clinical sessions and are expected to treat patients with respect and sensitivity.  Self-study of social work, pediatrics, psychiatry, ob/gyn and surgery aspects of transgender medicine is required.  Students will be graded on interaction with patients in clinical session, knowledge of the subject from outside reading and final powerpoint presentation in the 4th week of the rotation.

130.1 Clinical Gastroenterology

Instructors: Robert Lowe, M.D.

Location: Boston Medical Center, 85 E. Concord St., 7th Floor
Telephone: 638-6116 Contact: Mary J. Bell

Number of Students: Two
Period to be Offered: One Month

Description of Elective:

Emphasis is placed on the diagnosis and management of patients with common gastrointestinal disorders. The student sees outpatients referred to the GI Clinic and patients hospitalized with gastrointestinal problems on the wards of the Menino Pavilion. The student is expected to make daily morning work rounds with the Fellows, see new patients in consultation, and participate in all of the activities including seminars, Journal Club and clinical conferences sponsored by the Gastroenterology Section.

130.6 Clinical Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Consultation Service

Instructor: Dr. Elihu M. Schimmel

Location: Boston V. A. Medical Center, 150 S. Huntington Ave.,
Boston, MA 02130
Telephone: 232-9500, Ext. 4327 FAX: 278-4505

Number of Students: One per month
Period to be Offered: One month

Description of Elective:

As a student you will participate in the gastroenterology training program and consultation service. You will work up new patients in consultation on the hospital’s wards and in the outpatient clinics. You will attend rounds, clinics and conferences, both at the VA Medical Center and at Boston Medical Center, all of which are teaching sessions. Your diagnostic skills will be encouraged, reading time will be ample, and we will discuss pathophysiology in depth.

As a member of the clinical gastroenterology team you will learn the
intellectual skill of thoughtful analyses of clinical data as well as those of endoscopic, radiologic and histologic diagnosis.

Students have enjoyed these challenges and learning experiences.
Note: This elective requires completion of an additional VA Health System application and fingerprinting. Please obtain contact information from elective coordinator upon sign-up.

135.1 Clinical Hematology/Oncology

Instructors: Drs.  J.M. Sloan, D. Ngo, D. Faller, R. Blanchard, K. Hartshorn, K. Zaner,   C. Rosenberg, V. Sanchorawala, G. Gignac,  and A. Lerner

Location: Boston Medical Center
Newton Pavilion/Menino Pavilion

Contact:Anamika Verma
Telephone: 638-7521


Number of Students: One
Period to be Offered: One Month

Description of Elective:

The course in clinical hematology/oncology is designed to prepare students to evaluate and manage hematologic and oncologic disorders. The student will be exposed to patients both in the ambulatory and inpatient hospital setting. He/She will be expected to participate in the initial evaluation of in-patient consultations. In addition, they will have the opportunity to work with an attending physician in at least one outpatient Hematology or Oncology clinical activity per week. The student will be instructed in the technique of performing a bone aspiration and biopsy. In addition considerable time will be spent with the attending interpreting both peripheral blood and bone marrow smears. The student will also attend the weekly clinical and research conferences, which will afford him/her an exposure to the scholastic activities of the section.

135.11 Basic Research in Hematology/Oncology

Instructors: Kevan L. Hartshorn, M.D., Adam Lerner, M.D., and Carol L. Rosenberg, M.D.
Location:Boston Medical Center, Evans Biomedical Research Center-EBRC 4
Contact:Anamika Verma

Telephone: 638-7521


Description of Elective:

This program is designed to provide students with an introduction to
investigational issues in several areas of hematology, immunology, and oncology, including exposure to basic laboratory techniques and current scientific endeavors. Students will have the opportunity to participate directly in on-going projects to obtain a conceptual and practical framework for utilizing laboratory research to address unresolved basic and clinical problems. A broad overview of research interests is provided below. Contact Selena Craig for additional information.
Dr. Hartshorn: Inhibition of phagocyte function by virus; lectin molecules in natural immunity
Dr. Lerner: Analysis of apoptosis pathways in normal and malignant lymphocytes
Dr. Rosenberg: Identification of genetic changes in premalignant lesions of the breast and other tissues
Dr. Seldin: Multistep pathways of lymphoma, autoimmunity and breast
cancer development in transgenic and knockout mice


140 Clinical Infectious Disease
Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Disease-Boston University School of Medicine

Goal and Summary

This elective is for the BUSM student to gain experience evaluating, diagnosing and treating hospitalized patients with infectious diseases. After completion of this elective, the student will gain an understanding of common infectious disease issues and the general approach to those patients

Description of Elective

The student will join the inpatient infectious disease consultation team at Boston Medical Center. The team will include an infectious disease fellow and be supervised by an infectious disease attending physician. The student will evaluate patients under the direction of the fellow, present cases at daily rounds to the attending physician, prepare a thorough written summary of the consultation, and review the medical literature relevant to the patient’s care. Case discussions are oriented around a history and physical examination that incorporates specific information relevant to an infectious disease work-up, and the diagnosis and management appropriate to the patient. The attending physician will review the student’s written presentations, and the student will be given the opportunity to present information gleaned from the medical literature. Students will learn about community and hospital-acquired infections, infections in immunocompromised hosts, including those with HIV infection, and the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents.

Students are expected to participate in all service activities Monday through Friday. Patient care and teaching rounds take place daily for 2-3 hours. No weekend responsibilities or evening call is required.


Identify components of the history, physical examination and laboratory results that are important in the evaluation of the infected patient.

Demonstrate the ability to choose appropriate antimicrobial agents based on clinical presentation and culture data. Create differential diagnoses for infection in the patient based on individual host factors.


Educational activities include evaluating patients for which infectious disease consultation is sought, teaching and bedside rounds with the consult attending physician, and review of relevant literature for discussion. Conferences/ other teaching activities include: microbiology weekly “plate” rounds, regularly scheduled conferences – core lectures, AIDS conference, case conference, Infectious Disease Grand Rounds and the Combined Adult and Pediatric Infectious Disease conference. Attendance at research seminars is encouraged for the interested student.


The student will be evaluated based on their level of active participation in the activities of the consultation service. Specifically, the student will be evaluated on his/ her individual patient work-ups – the oral presentation, the written consultation, the approach to review of relevant literature – and availability for participating in the work of the consultation service. The attending physician, with feedback from the fellow, will evaluate the student’s performance.

Grades (H/HP/P/F) will be used. The attending on the consultation service with direct supervision of the student will be responsible for providing feedback mid-clerkship and upon completion. If problems are identified, the attending physician or the student should contact the Course Director. Grades will be submitted to the Registrar in accord with BUSM policies for grading.


Clinical infectious disease faculty at Boston Medical Center.

Contact and Course Orientation Information

Course Director: Tamar Barlam, MD, MSc

Location: Boston Medical Center, Dowling 3 North

Contact: Sophia Papadopoulos, Dowling 3 North Room 3210


Telephone: 617-414-5265

FAX: 617-638-8070

The student should report to Dowling 3 North for orientation by Dr. Barlam at 8:15 AM on the first day of the elective.

Number of Students

2 students can sign up per block

Length of Elective

4 weeks

Available Blocks/Semesters

Offered year-round


Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center 140.6 [1]

Dr. David Thornton, 857-364-4669 – one position

Location: 1400 VFW Parkway

West Roxbury, MA 02132

Main Telephone: 617-323-7700

[1] Note: This elective requires completion of an additional VA Health System application and fingerprinting. Please contact Irene Jones at for further information.


Metrowest Medical Center: 140.X

Dr. Thomas Treadwell, — one or two positions

Location: 115 Lincoln St, Framingham, MA 01720
Telephone: 508-383-1563

Boston University medical students are very familiar with MetroWest Medical Center. Many of them do physical diagnosis there, and it is one of the core rotations for obstetrics and pediatrics.

ID at MetroWest does more than 700 consultations a year and has a busy outpatient clinic, in both general infectious disease, and travel medicine (2,000 patients a year). There is also a busy HIV service that has Ryan White funding, and provides care to nearly 200 active patients. Finally, there is a hepatitis C clinic where they are involved in a couple of protocols for the treatment of hepatitis C.

Students who wish an alternative to the main BUMC campus for an infectious disease rotation would get a lot of attention at MetroWest and would have both an ambulatory and inpatient experience. In addition to the elective, there are didactic lectures four days a week for the general medicine training program, grand rounds weekly, and other educational experiences.

Drs. Chinhak Chun, Jorge Fleisher and Thomas Treadwell are the board certified infectious diseases physicians at MetroWest Medical Center; both Dr. Treadwell and Dr. Fleisher completed the infectious diseases fellowship at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Treadwell is Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in Medicine at Boston University and sees patients at Boston Medical Center as part of the infectious diseases consult service.


Cape Cod Hospital:  140.4

Dr. Laurel Miller, MD
Location: 104B Park Street
Hyannis, MA 02601

Telephone: 508-862-5650; Cell phone 781-710-8105

Students will gain experience in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases as seen in both outpatient and in-patient settings and will learn about out patient intravenous antibiotic therapy for chronic infections. Infection control procedures and rationale will be constantly reinforced and the prevention and management of antibiotic resistant infections will be stressed.

In-patient and outpatient infectious diseases are seen by consultation and office visits. General infectious diseases including cellulitis, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, meningitis, and other bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic diseases are seen. During the warmer months, tick-borne and mosquito borne illnesses assume a greater importance. There are 2 comprehensive case management programs within IDCS: HIV case management (over 130 active patients currently) and Hepatitis C Virus case management (over 150 patients (about 50% who also are HIV positive). The infectious disease service is actively involved in the new open-heart surgery program and participation in cardiac surgery rounds is encouraged.

The Infectious Diseases Consulting Service (IDCS) is the only infectious disease practice in Hyannis and the surrounding area. It is located across the street from Cape Cod Hospital.

150.6 Medical Oncology

Instructors: Daniel Jacobson, M.D., J. Carlos Vera, M.D.,
Valia Boosalis, M.D., Michelle Hankins, M.D., Lauren Oshry, M.D. and Ante Lundberg, M.D.

Location: Boston VA Medical Center, 150 S. Huntington Ave.,
Boston, MA

Contact: Anamika Verma
Telephone: (617) 638-7521

Number of Students: Two
Period to be Offered: One month

Description of Elective:

The student will work closely with the oncology fellows, nurse oncologists and senior staff as part of a hospital-based unit strongly committed to clinical research. This elective will include exposure to the fundamentals of chemotherapy, natural history of commonly encountered cancers, oncology clinical research and principles of interdisciplinary cancer care. Students will be actively involved in the evaluation and management of cancer patients on the wards and in the clinic. Various weekly activities include:

1. Multidisciplinary chest, head and neck, urology and general oncology tumor board conferences
2. Patient management conference
3. Clinical trials research conference
4. Oncology Clinics

Note: This elective requires completion of an additional VA Health System application and fingerprinting with one month notice. Please obtain contact information from elective coordinator upon sign-up.

160.1 Pulmonary Medicine-Clinical Consultation Service at
Boston Medical Center

Instructor: Arthur Theodore, M.D.

Location: Boston Medical Center, R-3,Newton Pavilion/Menino Pavilion
Telephone: 638-4862   Contact: Kathyann Adamson-R-3

Number of Students: Two Seniors only
Period to be Offered: One month

Description of Elective:

The student will be an integral part of an active in patient clinical
pulmonary consultation service. He will be responsible for the initial consultation in patients with a variety of respiratory disorders. The student’s evaluation and plan of management will then be discussed with the pulmonary fellow and at daily staff attending rounds. The elective will provide an opportunity to evaluate chest roentgenograms, interpret arterial blood gases and pulmonary function tests, and discuss the role of and participate in such diagnostic procedures as fiberoptic bronchoscopy, pleural biopsy and thoracentesis.

The student will participate in a full program of teaching conferences including work rounds, chest x-ray conferences, formal interhospital chest conferences, physiology seminars and research conferences, and a special weekly student case discussion conference.

160.6 Pulmonary Medicine – VA Inpatient Clinical Consultation Service

Instructors: Drs.  L. Jack Faling, Alan Fine, Eric Garshick, Ronald Goldstein, Daniel Gottlieb, Joel Karlinsky, Steven Lieberman, Jussi Saukkonen


VA Boston Healthcare System
1400 VFW Parkway
West Roxbury, MA 02132
Telephone:1 857-203-6478 Contact: Susan Cieri

Number of Students: One, Senior only
Period to be Offered: One Month

Description of Elective:

The student will work closely with the Pulmonary Fellow seeing consultations throughout the hospital. Experience will be gained in the evaluation and management of all types of respiratory disorders, interpretation of chest x-rays, blood gas data, and diagnostic methods used in the evaluation of lung diseases. Many patients will have complete pulmonary function testing and bronchoscopy in which the student may participate.

Students will attend staff attending rounds five times weekly. In addition there are weekly teaching chest x-ray conference, formal interhospital chest conferences and a journal club. The teaching service is a combined Boston University-Harvard Medical School service.

Note: This elective requires completion of an additional VA Health System application and fingerprinting. Please obtain contact information from elective coordinator upon sign-up.

163.1 Research In Pulmonary Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology and Immunology

Instructor: Drs. Jerome Brody, Jeffrey Berman, Wellington Cardon,
David Center, William Cruikshank, Harrison Farber, Matthew Fenton, Alan Fine, Ronald Goldstein, Martin Joyce-Brady, Hardy Kornfeld, Mary Williams and others

Location: Pulmonary Center, Housman Building, 3rd Floor
Telephone: To schedule call Dr. Center at 638-4860

Number of Students: Five Maximum
Period to be Offered: Two to six months – plus ongoing during the school year

Prerequisite: Open to all students following completion of the first year

Description of Elective:

This elective offers practical and theoretical training in basic skills of cell and molecular approaches to research. Training includes methods of cell culture and transfection, biochemical and molecular analyses including protein, RNA, and DNA; cell cycle analysis; morphologic methods including immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization; in vitro models of organogenisis and cell differentiation. Faculty study molecular regulation of connective tissue metabolism, molecular biology of T lymphocyte and endothelial cytokines, stress proteins, signaling pathways, molecular regulation of organogenesis and epithelial differentiation, genetic alterations in lung tumors, and AIDS virology and immunology.

165.1 Renal Disease

Once scheduled, a student will not be released from a renal  elective unless a substitute is provided.

Instructors: Douglas E. Mesler, M.D., David J. Salant, M.D., Edward A. Alexander, M.D. and Staff

Location: Boston Medical Center, 650 Albany St, 5th Floor, Room 504, Boston, MA 02118
Telephone: 638-7330 – Valerie Thompson

Number of Students: Two
Period to be Offered: One month

Description of Elective:

Each student, under the supervision of clinical fellows and staff, participates in the evaluation and management of patients with acute and chronic renal disease, fluid and electrolyte problems, acid-base disturbances, etc. The major focus of activity is the clinical consult services, where students are taught the skills of clinical evaluation of patients for renal disease and participate in daily work rounds as well as formal attending rounds (3-5 sessions per week). Students are expected to attend all clinical and research conferences, including clinical journal club, clinical conference, pathology conference and renal research conference. Active student participation, including patient presentation at clinical conference, is encouraged.

165.6 Clinical Nephrology

Once scheduled, a student will not be released from a renal elective unless a substitute is provided.

Note: This elective requires completion of an additional VA Health System application and fingerprinting. Please obtain contact information from elective coordinator upon sign-up.

Instructor: Robert J. Hamburger, M.D.

Location: Boston VA Healthcare System,
Boston, MA 02130
Telephone: 857-364-4662, (Irene Jones)

Number of Students: 2 students
Period to be Offered: One month

Description of Elective:

This elective emphasizes the physiologic approach to the clinical recognition in evaluation of renal disease. The students, working closely and under the supervision of staff and renal fellows, participate in the work-up and management of their own cases, as well as discussion of others. This part of the elective is available for a period of four weeks or multiples thereof. The students participate in the outpatient Renal Clinics at the Jamaica Plain campus, under the direction of a staff physician. In addition, students also participate on the inpatient consult service at the West Roxbury hospital under the direction of the Renal Fellow and Renal staff physicians.

Students often take the shuttle provided by the V.A. and Boston University between the Jamaica Plain Campus and the West Roxbury Campus.

167.2 Renal Disease Research

Instructors: Dr. David Salant, Dr. Edward A. Alexander,
Dr. James Kaufman, Dr. Jerrold Levine, Dr. Wilfred Lieberthal,
Dr. John H. Schwartz and Dr. Michael Shia, Dr. Steven Borkan, Dr. Douglas Mesler and Dr. Laura Dember

Location: Boston Medical Center, Boston VAMC
Telephone: 638-7330 E428

Number of Students: To be arranged
Period to be Offered: Three to six months

Description of Elective:

By special arrangement with the individual faculty members, students may work on clinical research projects or in the laboratory on problems such as immune mechanisms of renal injury, renal cell physiology and pathophysiology, ischemic renal injury, gene regulation, molecular biology of cell receptors or other studies ongoing in the renal section.

170.1 Clinical Rheumatology

Instructor: Robert Simms, M.D. and Associates

Location: BUMC, Evans 5
Telephone: 617-414-2502 Contact: Jackie Chapski

Number of Students: 2
Period to be Offered: 1 month

Description of Elective:

Students will participate in all activities of the clinical rheumatology service, including in-patient consult rounds, arthritis clinics, and a formal teaching program. Students will see in-patient consults at Boston University Medical Center under the supervision of the clinical arthritis fellow and staff and present these cases to the faculty attending of the month. Students will be expected to read and informally report on recent writings which are pertinent to the patients they work up. Students will also spend four half-days per week in the Boston Medical Center and VA Arthritis Clinics.
The elective also includes 3 to 4 hours per week of formal education to teach students the central concepts and basic skills of rheumatology. Clinical rounds are made 3-4 times per week.

171.1 Rheumatology Research

Instructors: Drs. Robert Simms, David Felson, Shyr-te Ju,
Robert Lafyatis, Timothy McAlindon, Martha Skinner and Russell Widom

Location: BUMC, Evans 5
Telephone: 638-4310

Number of Students: 2-4
Period to be Offered: 2-6 months

Description of Elective:

The student will have the opportunity to spend two or more months working closely with a faculty preceptor on a research project. The project may be part of an ongoing effort or one that the student develops in consultation with the preceptor. Projects will relate to autoimmune, connective tissue and rheumatic diseases and the basic biomedical sciences which relate to their pathophysiology.

Current areas of investigation include:

A) Scleroderma and Raynaud’s phenomenon: clinical, immunologic, metabolic and molecular studies.

B) Biochemical immunological and clinical aspects of amyloid

C) Epidemiologic studies of rheumatic disease

D) Health services and outcomes research in rheumatology

E) Basic immunology and cell biology

F) Clinical studies in various rheumatic diseases

Students participating in this elective will have the opportunity to learn fundamental approaches to biomedical investigation including critical review of published work and experimental design and analysis. Depending on the particular project elected, skills in molecular biology, cell biology, immunology, biochemistry and biostatistics and epidemiology will be gained. Students wishing to take this elective should contact Dr. Joseph H. Korn or, if the particular interest area is known, the suitable faculty member. Enough time should be allowed for discussions with faculty to plan the details of the elective.

180.1 Dermatology

Once scheduled, a student will not be released from a dermatology elective unless a substitute is provided.

Note: Elective can be taken for four weeks only. There will no exceptions.

Elective Director: Lynne J. Goldberg, M.D.

Elective Coordinator: Daniella Adrien, 609 Albany St., J-Building, 2nd Floor
Telephone: 617 638-5523  E-Mail:

Dermatology Clinics: Doctors Office Building, 9th floor. Every day at 830am

Didactic sessions: 609 Albany St, 2nd floor. Wednesdays 8am;  Occasional Mondays at 515pm;  Occasional    Thursday mornings at 700am

Grand Rounds: Doctors Office Building, 9th floor. 815am on 1st Wednesday of the month



Dermatology is an ambulatory rotation integrated with a vibrant inpatient consultation service. In general, the workday starts at 830AM, though there are important teaching conferences that may occur at an earlier time on some days. Clinics and/or Consultations generally end by 5:30PM. Didactic sessions typically take place on Wednesday mornings beginning at 800am. In addition, there may be occasional didactic sessions on a Monday after clinics and on a Thursday morning before clinic. Our monthly Grand Rounds takes place on the first Wednesday morning of the month at the DOB, 9th floor clinic.

Our group is comprised of attending dermatologists, dermatopathologists, procedural dermatologists, doctorate scientists, dermatology residents, international trainees, dermatopathology fellows and a skin oncology fellow. Boston University is a center of excellence in basic cutaneous biology research, skin oncology, wound healing, psoriasis, connective tissue disease, photomedicine, hair disorders, dermatologic surgery/oncology, dermatopathology and dermatology education.



The purpose of the dermatology elective is to provide BUSM IV students the content, functional knowledge and practical skills needed to identify, evaluate, manage and prevent common and important disorders of the integumentary system.

By the end of the dermatology elective, the BUSM student will be able to:

1. Obtain a relevant dermatologic history (B,U)

2. Perform physical examination of the integumentary system (B,U)

3. Describe accurately morphology of lesions and eruptions on patients. (B,U,C)

4. Diagnose common and important lesions and eruptions, including the following: melanocytic nevi, malignant melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, actinic and seborrheic keratoses, acne, seborrhea, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, urticaria, pityriasis rosea, drug eruptions, vasculitis, leg ulcers, vitiligo, verruca, acrochordons, molluscum, cysts, keloid scars, dermatofibroma, hemangioma, dermatophytoses, pityriasis versicolor, candidiasis, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, impetigo, scabies, cellulitis, furunculosis, pediculosis. (U,R,E)

5. Demonstrate familiarity with common diagnostic and therapeutic procedures used in dermatology, including cryotherapy, shave and punch skin biopsy, potassium hydroxide mounts, scabies oil mounts, Tzanck smear, and dermatoscopy. (U,R)

6. Describe 1st and 2nd lines of therapy for common and important lesions and eruptions. (U,R,E)

7. Demonstrate knowledge of basic pharmacology and administration of medications commonly used for treatment of skin disease, particularly topical and anti-inflammatory agents including steroids, topical and oral retinoids, topical and oral antimicrobial agents, and emollients. (U,R,E)

8. Differentiate between formulations of topical steroids based on potency, side effects, and

vehicles. (U,R,E)

9. Demonstrate understanding of basic epidemiology of malignant melanoma, melanocytic nevi and nonmelanoma skin cancer. (U,R)

10. Identify risk factors for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Perform at least five

supervised full-body skin exams for high-risk patients. (U,R)

11. Summarize impact on qualify of life for chronic skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis,

psoriasis, pruritus, and acne. (U,R)

12. Translate skin care advice to layman’s terms for at least one patient for each of the following

topics: sun protection, ABCDEs of melanoma, atopic dermatitis skin care regimens, dry skin care

regimens, and wound care. (B,U)

13. Demonstrate understanding of the basic principles of dermatologic lasers and Mohs micrographic surgery. (U,R)

14. Demonstrate familiarity with important new or evolving issues in dermatology and how research and the medical literature are being used to develop evidence-based best practices and guidelines for management of skin disease. (U,R)

15. Identify clinical situations in which a dermatologist should be consulted and other clinical situations which may be managed without referral. (U,C,S)

Furthermore, we expect that rotators will:

1. Interact with patients, their families, our office staff and other health professionals in a manner that is culturally sensitive and appropriate to the resident’s dual role as healthcare provider and student of dermatology. (B,A)

2. Communicate with patients, their families, our office staff and other healthcare providers in an effective fashion in spoken and written English. Handwriting and signatures must be legible. (B)

3. Demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, sensitivity to a diverse patient population, and dress and deportment appropriate to a physician. (B,A)

4. Wear neat, clean clothing, a white coat and identification badge when seeing patients. (A)

180.13 Research in Skin Cancer

Instructor: Rhoda M. Alani, M.D.
Location: 609 Albany Street, J-508
Telephone: 638-5517

Number of Students: 1-4 per rotation
Period to be Offered:Throughout 12 month academic calendar

Description of Elective:

Student(s) will work with experienced Skin Oncologist to conduct basic and translational research in melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.   Work will include independent and supervised research on innovative studies and manuscript writing.


033.2 Geriatrics/Home Medical Care

Instructors:Lisa Norton, M.D., Serene Chao, M.D.,M.Sc., Dan Oates, M.D., M.Sc. and Matthew Russell, M.D., M.Sc.

Location: Robinson 2700 – Boston Medical Center, Robinson Complex
Telephone: 638-6155
Course Director: Lisa Norton, M.D.
Course Administrator: Julia Bruno

Number of Students: Varies (see note below)
Period to be Offered: One month

Description of Elective:

During this rotation, students will have the unique opportunity (few medical schools offer this experience) to go out regularly on house calls with a physician or nurse preceptor. There will also be home visits, which trainees will conduct independently (paired with one other student). Additional experiences may include going to community sites such as an adult day health center or nursing home. Students will attend lectures, prepare a written case study and participate in a Geriatrics OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam). Both physician and nurse preceptors will evaluate students’ performance in the rotation. Course objectives include: students will learn about common geriatric syndromes, understand and use functional assessment in the evaluation of older adults, work with an interdisciplinary team including nurses, social workers, and community health care providers to develop care plans, and learn about home care and what is possible to provide medically for elderly patients living in the community.

Note: This is a required rotation at BUSM but may be taken as an elective by external students on a space available basis only.