Family Medicine

Family Medicine Sub-Internships and Electives

Boston University students interested in any of the following Family Medicine elective or subinternship offerings should contact Ms. Florence Laforest.

Telephone: 414-6237   email:

Location: BMC-Dowling 5 Room 5414


030.1i Title: Sub-internship in Family Medicine

Instructor: Rebecca Lara, M.D.    Team: East Newton Family Medicine Inpatient Service

Location: East Newton Pavilion, Boston University Medical Center

Number of Students Per Block: One

Period to be offered: Blocks 9 – 20

Description of Elective:

Students will work as interns with the family medicine inpatient team. They will care for a wide variety of patients from the HealthNet Rounder system, acting as the primary care-giver for their patients. They will have all the responsibilities of an intern, including daily management of their patients, new admissions, attending conferences and participating in daily teaching.

  • Location: E6W, team meets in the FM conference room 6269 by the nurse manager’s office
  • Daily schedule: Generally 7am to 6pm 6 days per week, one day per week will be extended until 7pm to allow for independent admission. Team sign-out 7am, teaching 7:30-8, bedside rounds 8:30, daily noon conferences, pm sign-out at 6pm
  • Students are expected to work 3 weekend days during the month, arranged in discussion with the senior resident. NOTE: students follow the holiday/vacation schedule of the team not of Boston University, speak with the team prior to making any travel arrangements
  • Students will be directly supervised by the 2nd or 3rd year resident in addition to the family medicine ward attending.
  • Students will be primarily responsible for the care of their patients, they will participate in all conferences, daily teaching

 Guidelines for Absences

Students are reminded to maintain standards of professionalism, courtesy and common sense when scheduling residency interviews that take place during fourth year rotations.  Try to schedule interviews during vacation blocks whenever possible. In general, a student may, with advance permission from the rotation director, be away for no more than four days during the four-week rotation.

 Please take note of the following guidelines:

  • Students must work a minimum of two continuous weeks with no absences in order to pass the rotation.
  • If a student is absent for more than four days, those missed days must be made up in order to pass the rotation.  In some cases, a student may be required to repeat the rotation.
  •  Students follow the holiday/vacation schedule of the team, not of Boston University.  Speak with the rotation director prior to making any travel arrangements during the rotation.



030.1e Title: Advanced Ambulatory Family Medicine

Instructors: Sara Tepperberg, M.D., M.P.H., Heather Miselis, M.D., M.P.H. and Rachel Mott-Keis, M.D.

Administrative Contact: Florence LaForest (  Telephone: 617 414-6237

Locations: Two of three possible outpatient sites: Codman Square Health Center, South Boston Community Health Center, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

Number of Students: One or Two Fourth Year Medical Student(s)

Period to be offered: contact Ms. LaForest regarding block availability

Description of Elective:

Students who are entering the field of family medicine are the target for this elective.  Students will see ambulatory patients at one or two of the affiliated residency sites, including South Boston Community Health Center, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and Codman Square Health Center. The student will work with a variety of Family Medicine residents and preceptors, and as such will not likely have opportunity for significant summative assessments and advanced accolades from faculty.   With appropriate supervision, students will be expected to have first contact with patients and to do the initial work-up.  Students will advance their skills in the diagnosis of the undifferentiated patient, and the assessment and management of acute and chronic problems which commonly present in family medicine. Instruction in patient education and preventive medicine in the family context will be emphasized. Students will participate in staff conferences and may attend rounds, conferences and lectures that are part of the BMC Family Medicine Residency Program.

This elective is also available through the Boston Medical Center Minority Recruitment Program.


The student will be evaluated by the same BU School of Medicine assessment tool that is used for BU Family medicine clerks or by the elective evaluation supplied by their sponsoring institution.


 031.0 Family Medicine 360° Clinical Elective

Instructor: Elizabeth Ferrenz, M.D.

Administrative Contact: Florence LaForest (  Telephone: 617 414-6237

Location: Boston Medical Center

Number of Students: Four-4th year medical students

Period to be offered: Block 10

Description of Elective:

The Family Medicine 3600 Clinical Elective is an opportunity for fourth year medical students to delve into the many roles of a family doctor.  This elective is designed for medical students strongly considering a career in Family Medicine who would like additional exposure to outpatient, inpatient, maternal child health and specialty care provided by family doctors.

The elective experience will take place at Boston Medical Center, at Family Medicine affiliated community health centers, and at the Ryan Center (Sports Medicine).

The student will have a clinical home throughout their rotation at a community health center.  Each student will be paired with a resident, and will participate in that resident’s continuity clinic 2 sessions/week on their inpatient and mom-baby weeks and 5 sessions/week on the outpatient week. These supervising residents will receive Resident as Teacher training and will get teaching support and mentoring during the rotation from Dr. Cohen-Osher.  The student will see a subset of patients on the resident’s schedule.  The clinical care provided by the student-resident pair will be supervised by the attending physician who is precepting in resident clinic.  The student will also work with additional clinicians at the community health center to understand the comprehensive services available for the care of patients such as integrated behavioral health and nutrition counseling.

The inpatient experience during the elective will include 2 weeks on the Family Medicine inpatient service caring for hospitalized adults.  During the week of nights, the student will work directly with the Family Medicine intern and attending physician to admit new patients and cross-cover patients on the Family Medicine resident teams.  During the week of days, the student will follow their own assigned patients with supervision from the resident team and attending physician.

The maternal child health week gives students a true Family Medicine-centered experience to include prenatal/perinatal care (including labor and delivery), inpatient postpartum care for women, as well as newborn nursery care for their infants.  The student will spend mornings on the postpartum floor caring for women and their infants- focusing on issues such as breastfeeding (including spending time with a lactation consultants), the newborn exam, routine postpartum care, maternal counseling and anticipatory guidance.

During the outpatient/specialties week the student will have an opportunity to tailor their clinical experiences to their individual interests.  All students will have the opportunity to spend clinical time with the Sports Medicine fellowship trained Family Medicine faculty and fellows.  Students will also be able to experience other areas of focus in Family Medicine such as integrative medicine, transitions of care, office based substance use treatment, geriatrics, and student health and these will be tailored (as much as possible) to the student’s clinical interests.

Inter-professional experiences are built-in to many components of this elective.  On the inpatient Family Medicine service there are board rounds twice daily where the MD team, nurses, and case management come together to discuss all patients. During the maternal child health week, there is daily communication with nursing and often with lactation consultants and social workers.  Our outpatient clinics have team care nursing and integrated behavioral health.

During the four-week rotation the student will select a topic of interest relevant to Family Medicine and prepare an oral presentation to be shared with Family Medicine residents and faculty which will be evaluated by the presentation coordinator.  This will happen in the 3rd or 4th week of the clerkship.


031.1 Title: Narrative Medicine Elective

Instructor: Pamela Adelstein, MD, Department of Family Medicine

Location: Online and Dowling 5 South (Department of Family Medicine) for two in-person meetings.

Telephone: 617-825-9660     Email:

Number of Students: Flexible. Available to both BUSM III and BUSM IV students

Period to be Offered: Three times a year: Fall semester (14 weeks from Sept to Dec); Spring semester (14 weeks from Jan to May); and Summer (12 weeks from May to August).

Please note: This elective has been designed to be completed as an overlay to the regular four week electives, i.e. to be taken simultaneously with the regular, fourth year four week electives during the time periods shown. The elective will not appear on the transcript and no grade will be assigned, but a letter of completion will be sent to each student’s file.

Description of Elective:

This elective is designed to introduce students to the concept and framework of narrative medicine. It consists of readings, online discussion of the readings, narrative writing assignments and a few in-person meetings. The goals of the course are 1) students will learn more about the concept of narrative medicine and how it applies to their understanding of their patients’ stories; and 2) students will produce and receive feedback on their own writing, allowing them to process and understand the personal aspects of some of their clinical experiences to date. Every two weeks, there will be reading assignments and two writing assignments to be posted on the course discussion board. One of the assignments will be a personal essay; the other will be designed to generate discussion of some of the themes in the reading. There will also be midterm and final papers, both personal narrative assignments for the student to further explore their voice as a writer.


032.1 Maternal/Child Health

Instructor: Sarah Hale, M.D.

Administrative Contact: Florence LaForest (  Telephone: 617 414-6237

Location: Boston Medical Center

Number of Students Per Block: Selective Blocks, Please Inquire

Period to be offered: Blocks 9 – 19

Description of Elective:

This elective gives students a true family medicine-centered experience to include prenatal/perinatal care (including labor and delivery), inpatient postpartum care for women, as well as newborn nursery care for their infants. The student will spend mornings on the postpartum floor caring for women and their infants- you will focus on issues such as breastfeeding (including spending time with our lactation consultants), the newborn exam, routine postpartum care, maternal counseling and anticipatory guidance.  Afternoons will be spent either seeing primary care patients in clinic (including as many prenatal/pediatric visits as possible), or researching a maternal/child health topic of your choice to be presented at the end of the elective.  Students take call overnight on labor and delivery one night per week, allowing them an opportunity to be actively involved in deliveries and all aspects of labor and delivery care.  Each student chooses one weekend to work with the postpartum/nursery rounder to get more direct clinical experience.  Participation in this elective provides you with a wonderful opportunity to be an active and important team member with a lot of independence.  Students who will derive the most benefit from this rotation are self-motivated and active learners.


 033.0 Title: Elective in Advanced Healthcare Communication

Instructor: Suzanne Mitchell, MD MS

Location: BUMC/Hancock Manor Nursing Home

Number of Students Per Block: 6

Period to be offered: Blocks 17, 18 and 20

Housing not available

Description of Elective:

During this four-week elective, students will cultivate a deeper understanding of the complex interactions between patients, healthcare providers and healthcare systems and the relationship to health outcomes. Topics to be explored include:

  • · Cross cultural communications and the influence of clinical uncertainty, stereotyping and  unconscious bias in physician decision-making and the propagation of health disparities.
  • · Communicating with “difficult patients”.
  • · Building skills in Patient Activation
  • · Healthcare communications, Health Literacy and Patient Safety
  • · Physician self-disclosure in the clinical setting
  • · Efficient relationship-centered care


033.1  Title: Latino Health Elective

Department of Family Medicine

Boston University School of Medicine

Course Director: Elizabeth Ferrenz

Email address:

Administrative Contact: Florence Laforest

Email address:

Clinical Faculty (may vary depending on availability each block):

Carol Singletary, Registered dietician, EBNHC

Dr. Sonia Ananthakrishnan, Endocrinology

Dr. Jose Betances, Pediatrics

Dr. Charles Bliss, Gastroenterology

Dr. Miriam Hoffman, Family Medicine

Dr. Jessica Levi, Pediatric Otolaryngology

Dr. Jose Romero, Neurology

Dr. Peter Smith, Chronic Disease Education and Management (CDEM), EBNHC

Number of Students: One fourth year medical student

Period to be offered: 4 weeks

Available Blocks: 14, 17, 18 and 19

Please note: Students must contact the course director before signing up for this elective to ensure that their level of Spanish proficiency will be adequate for a successful experience on this rotation.


The Latino Health Elective is an opportunity for fourth year medical students to improve their ability to provide medical care in Spanish, to increase their understanding of Latino health issues and disparities, and to research a topic of relevance to the health of Latino communities.

The elective experience will take place at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC), Boston Medical Center, and Boston area community agencies. 

Students will participate in clinical sessions in Family Medicine and Chronic Disease Management at EBNHC.  Specialty clinical sessions will take place at BMC.  Students will be responsible for conducting history and physical examinations in Spanish and presenting their findings in standard oral presentation format in English. 

At community agencies, students will learn about outreach to the Latino community around issues of immigration, housing, education, and more.  Latino elder care will be explored with an adult day health program.

Selected readings will be provided to students to expand their knowledge of Latino communities in the United States and health disparities facing Latinos.  These readings will be reviewed independently and discussed with the course director.

During the four week rotation the student will select a topic of interest relevant to the Latino community and prepare an oral presentation to be shared in the final week. 

Students will be evaluated on the basis of their participation in clinical sessions and engagement with community agencies and independent readings.  The final presentation will be evaluated on the basis of relevance to Latino health and skills in oral presentation.

Latino Health Elective additional information


034.0 Title: Primary Care Sports Medicine

Instructor: Alysia L. Green, M.D.

Administrative Contact: Florence LaForest  email:

Telephone:  617-414-6237

Number of Students: One 4th year BU medical student

Period to be offered:  2017/2018 – Blocks 9 (no game), 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18 and 19 and 2018/2019 – Blocks 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18 and 19

LOCATIONS: Boston Medical Center, BU Ryan Center for Sports Medicine, BU Student Health services, BU Athletic Training Room, Emerson College Athletic Training Room and various athletic fields/venues for event coverage


Alysia L. Green, M.D-Family Medicine/Primary Care Sports Medicine

Matthew Pecci, M.D-Family Medicine/Primary Care Sports Medicine

Douglas Comeau, D.O-Family Medicine/Primary Care Sports Medicine

Arturo Aguilar, MD-Family Medicine/Primary Care Sports Medicine


Mark Laursen, Director of Athletic Training Services, Boston University

Brian Vesci. Senior Athletic Trainer, Boston University

Amanda Nicoles, Head Athletic Trainer, Emerson College

Description of Elective:

The curriculum will include multiple experiences in primary care sports medicine. A sample of a weekly schedule of clinic time and other experiences would be the following:

-5 half days of Primary Care Sports Medicine

-2 half days in BMC orthopedics with Drs. Comeau and Green in our orthopedic clinics

-Wednesday afternoon Sports Medicine Conference

-1/2 day BU Athletic Training Room working one on one with BU Athletic Trainers and covering different athletic practices.

-1/2 day Emerson College Athletic Training Room with Dr. Green

-1/2 day of reading time

-Game coverage: will vary depending on the time of year and block but anticipate at least 1-2 game coverage opportunities per week of the elective. Please note much of the game coverage occurs in the evening and/or the weekends so student needs to be aware they may have to work late and possibly on the weekends.

The student will have a mid-block evaluation of their achievement of the above stated goals, done by Alysia L Green M.D. with the written/verbal input of the other physicians and additional staff members. At the end of the rotation, the student will be responsible for presenting a 30 minute presentation based on a sports medicine case that they observed during the rotation or a sports medicine topic of their interest. They will further be evaluated throughout their rotation on their musculoskeletal examination skills.

Student will have to provide at least 30 days notice if they are going to drop the elective, otherwise it will not be allowed.