Teaching/Scholarly Activities

205.3 Instructional Project Elective

Instructor: Gail March, Ph.D.

Contact: gmarch@bu.edu Telephone: 617-414-7440

Location: Office of Medical Education, Robinson Bldg., B-2900

Number of Students: 2 students per month
Period to be Offered: contact Dr. March for available blocks a month ahead

This elective requires four sequential weeks to complete the project and cannot include absences due to travelling for matching interviews, weddings, or other family events.

Description of Elective:

The Instructional Project Elective provides for a MS4 student the opportunity to use a systematic instructional design process to discover, design, develop, and deploy in four weeks an instructional project on a content area of their choice. The focus of the elective is to learn and apply nontraditional curricular formats (e.g., integration of basic sciences and clinical content using technology, online modules, innovative study tools, and simulations.)  Each student meets with a Faculty member as the content expert and the Elective Director a month in advance of the elective to approve the topic, and then weekly to review the deliverables and decide how the project will be implemented.

GOAL: The purpose of this elective is to guide the MS4 student through the development of an instructional project for the current BUSM curriculum, presentation at a conference, posting to an educational portfolio, or for their future roles as physicians, educators, and researchers.


By the end of the Instructional Project elective, the BUSM 4th year student will be able to:

  • Prepare a content outline based on a review of literature of the project content using 3-4 subtopics (upon approval of topic and method by Faculty as a content expert and Elective Director)
  • Write a goal and learning objectives for an instructional project
  • Select the instructional and evaluation strategies for the project
  • Implement the project’s design into a developmental draft of the project for assessment by the mentors and a beta class
  • Report on the beta-test findings, revise if necessary and implement the final project


CURRICULUM– The curriculum includes this sequential weekly process:

  • Week 1: Selection of topic and instructional method and competitive analysis
  • Week 2: Writing a content outline, goal and learning objectives for project
  • Week 3: Developing a draft of project
  • Week 4: Beta-testing with a sample population, revision, and final project


EVALUATION – The assessment of the student’s performance of the learning objectives will be done by both the Faculty member and the Elective Director on a weekly basis of deliverables. The weekly milestone grades are:

  • Week 1: 10% Discover the topic, targeted audience, and instructional needs
  • Week 2: 10% Design the Project
  • Week 3: 30% Develop the Project
  • Week 4: 50% Deploy the Project


Both the Faculty member and Elective Director will provide weekly formative feedback and the summative evaluation will be posted as Honors, High Pass, Pass, or Fail. If the student fails to meet the weekly deliverables, then both the Faculty member and Elective Director will provide a remediation plan. Any incomplete deliverables due to unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.


601 Quality Improvement Elective I


Instructors: Jodi Abbott, MD and James Moses, MD

Contact: makeba.kent@bmc.org Telephone: 617-414-7481

Number of Students: one-three per assigned faculty member

Period to be Offered: One month

Description of elective:

In the current context of health care today and into the foreseeable future, health care professionals have two overarching responsibilities:

o Delivering high quality care and constantly undertaking efforts to improve the care they deliver
Medical students who are completing their undergraduate medical training must be equipped with the knowledge and skills that form the foundation for improving care within this context. Students on this elective will work with a faculty advisor with quality improvement expertise to:

o Identify a quality problem in a specific clinical area
o Assess and systematically analyze the problem using quality improvement tools and
o Complete a quality improvement project proposal.

To initiate the knowledge and skills development needed for future quality improvement efforts that will be required in graduate medical education and professionally after training. At the completion of the elective the expectation is that the student will have completed a QI project proposal that can be used to initiate and complete a quality improvement project defined in the Quality Improvement II Elective

** Students must have project and preceptor before submitting an add form to Makeba Kent. Please see the list of Quality Leaders below to contact for QI projects.

Department/Division                Department Quality Leader

Anesthesia                                   Mauricio Gonzalez
Cardiology                                   Alisa Rosen; Rob Eberhardt EP; Advay Bhatt (Risk)
Cardiology-Interventional       As above
Cardiology EP                            As Above
Dermatology                              Christina Lam
Emergency Med                        Willie Baker
Endocrine S                               Sara Alexanian
Family Med                               Charli Williams
Geriatrics                                   Won Lee
GI                                                Brian Jacobsen
GIM                                            Charlotte Woo
Hem/Onc                                  Gretchen Gignac
ID                                                Maura Fagan
Medicine                                    Karin Sloan
Nephrology                               Andrea Havasi
Neurology                                 Anna Hohler
Neuroradiology                       Glenn Barest
Neurosurgery                           Keith Davies
Ob/Gyn                                     Jodi Abbott
OMFS                                        Bradford Towne
Ophthalmology                       Susannah Rowe
Ortho Surgery                         Andrew Stein
Otolaryngology                       Michael Platt
Pathology                                 Mike O’Brien
Pediatrics                                 James Moses
Psychiatry                                Joanna Buczek
Pulm/CCM                               James Murphy
Radiology                                 Glenn Barest
Rheumatology                         Mike York
Surgery                                     David McAneny
Surgery Critical Care              David McAneny
Urology                                     Linda Ng
Vascular Surgery                     David McAneny



602 Quality Improvement Elective II

Instructors: Jodi Abbott, MD and James Moses, MD

Contact: makeba.kent@bmc.org Telephone: 617-414-7481

Number of Students: one-three per assigned faculty member

Period to be Offered: One month

Description of elective:

Students on this elective will work with a faculty advisor with quality improvement expertise to:
• Assess and systematically address a problem previously identified in QI Elective I using quality improvement tools and
• Actively participate and/or lead the design and implementation of a quality improvement project to address that quality problem
• Complete a quality improvement project abstract and summary

To provide the knowledge and skills needed for medical students to develop future quality improvement efforts that will be required for residency. At the completion of the elective the expectation is that the student will have completed a quality improvement project involving two tests of change (PDSA). QI projects will be used to create an abstract and project summary that can be submitted for presentation at a local/national meeting, funding for further support of QI project, and/or certification from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School’s QI Practicum Certificate.
Pre-requisite for Quality Improvement Elective II is successful completion of the requirements for Quality Improvement Elective I including the assigned IHI Open School modules (QI 101-105).


603. 1    Patient Advocacy and Community-Based Resources in Clinical Medicine

Course Director: Megan Sandel, MD

Department of Pediatrics, Vose 3

Telephone: (617) 414-3680

E-mail: Megan.Sandel@bmc.org

Location:  Boston Medical Center


Number of Students: 1-2 students per block

Period to be offered: all blocks


During their time at Boston Medical Center, BUSM students are allowed the unique opportunity to serve a patient population that is reportedly 70% underserved and includes patients who may be low-income, immigrants, non-English speaking, or some combination of all three. The health of these patients is often intimately tied to social, economic, or other non-biomedical circumstances, requiring their medical teams to craft a treatment plan that accommodates these social needs. While health care providers are well trained to address medical issues, this elective is designed to provide more intensive training around social determinants of health and the various ways physicians can advocate for social change to improve the lives of their patients.

This elective will focus on helping medical students explore the social determinants of health and how physicians can assess and manage these social determinants of health as part of an inter-professional team. The main faculty mentor will be Dr. Megan Sandel, MD, MPH, who will meet with each student and help to coordinate the clinical setting in which the student will spend the four week block.  Students will spend 50-75% of their time in this clinical setting or community based organization devoted to underserved patients (examples include Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program; GROW clinic, or Project RESPECT Clinic).  Students, in collaboration with Dr. Sandel, will choose a BMC faculty mentor at their clinical site who is invested in patient advocacy and a subject expert in the student’s area of interest.  The other 25-50% of time will be spent doing an advocacy focused research or intervention project. Details of the elective must be worked out in a meeting with Dr. Sandel at least 1 month prior to the start of the elective block.