Extracurricular Enrichment Activities

What is an Extracurricular Enrichment Activity (EEA)?

An Extracurricular Enrichment Activity (EEA) – formerly labeled as a ‘free-time elective’ – is a scholarly undertaking created by and for B.U. medical students that is not part of the formal medical school curriculum. These informal classes may not be labeled or presented as “electives” (as was done in the past) because this term causes confusion with credited, graded electives that appear on the medical school transcript. Extracurricular enrichment activities are not included on a student’s transcript and grades are not assigned.

If you are interested in developing an EEA at BUSM, see Procedures for Approval of EEAs.

Requirements for Participation in EEAs

Students must be in good academic standing in order to undertake an EEA, and they must continue to be in good academic standing throughout the length of the class. Students are encouraged to meet with a dean in the Office of Student Affairs if there are questions regarding their academic status and suitability for participation.

For questions, contact Ana Gregory.

Descriptions of Extracurricular Enrichment Activities at BUSM

All classes are listed below. Each has a specific person who handles sign up. Contact this person directly to enroll.

  1. The Healer’s Art
  2. Introduction to Surgery MS-1
  3. Medical Spanish
  4. Spectrum of Physician Advocacy (SPA-1)

The Healer’s Art

[spring, 2018]

Information is available via the Department of Family Medicine’s page on The Healer’s Art.

Introduction to Surgery MS-1

[spring, 2018]

 >>> Sign-up: Go to:


Faculty: Tejal Brahmbhatt, MD, Tracey Dechert, MD, FACS

Goals: This class provides an opportunity to expose 1st year medical students to the science and art of the surgical discipline.


  • The learner will be enabled to develop an understanding of the various roles of a clinician surgeon.
  • The learner will be exposed to various sub-specialties within surgical medicine to garner the true reach of this discipline.
  • The learner will begin to be exposed to various forms of requisite skills necessary to provide surgical care including surgical suturing and knot tying; basic laparoscopic skills.
  • The learner will begin to understand leadership and interpersonal skills necessary to practice surgery.

This class is a requisite for the MS-2 course, Introduction to Surgery MS-2. This is tentatively planned in the fall.


  • There will be two groups (Group A & Group B) with 30 students each.
  • The groups will alternate weeks so that each group will have two sessions per month.
  • Each series will be comprised of five 60 minute sessions: 4 lectures and 1 workshop.
  • The workshop will be a procedure-based session.
  • Meeting locations to be determined.

Grading Criteria: 

  • Essay assignment: 1 page essay on your perception of the art of surgery.
  • 80% Attendance


Medical Spanish

[spring, 2018]

(not updated for spring, 2018)

To apply: By Sunday, January 8, 2016, take this ~15 minute placement test to help us determine the Intermediate and Advanced levels, and fill out this form to sign up and help us schedule classes and tweak the class to what participants are interested in.

Questions? Email spanishbusm@gmail.com

Description: Clinically oriented Spanish skills are invaluable in the health profession as we strive to improve patient care by better communication between providers and Spanish-speaking patients. Through the Medical Spanish class, students will learn and practice key Spanish vocabulary necessary to perform an effective H&P. In addition, students will improve their fluency and confidence in Spanish by practicing with native Spanish speakers from the community. Students are expected to commit 2 hours per week to the class and are asked to miss no more than 1 class session.

Topics to be covered in class include:

  • Chief complaint and HPI
  • Past medical history and chronic disease
  • Family history and habits
  • Social and occupational history
  • Basic physical exam
  • Head and neck
  • Thorax, lungs, and circulatory system
  • Abdomen and GI system
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Reproductive system/GU

Spectrum of Physician Advocacy (SPA-1)

[spring, 2018]

Questions? E-mail: buatp@bu.edu

Description: The Spectrum of Physician Advocacy (SPA-1) is a 10-session (non-graded) class that introduces students from different allied health professions to how healthcare providers can advocate for individual patients and contribute to conversations about social and health policy. Students will deepen their knowledge of the interplay between social factors and health and explore how to work as a healthcare provider to uncouple disadvantage from adverse health outcomes. Each session is student-taught with faculty approval and will have a different speaker who does advocacy work related to the particular topic. We also hope that students will connect with a community of their peers who are interested in health inequities and advocacy. This semester’s class will begin on January 9, 2018 and will be on Tuesday evenings.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Introduction to Social Determinants and Advocacy
  • Poverty and Health
  • Race and Health
  • Housing and Health
  • Gun Control and Community Violence
  • Substance Use and Harm Reduction
  • Correctional Health
  • LGBT Health
  • Immigrant and Refugee Health