Free-Time Electives, Spring, 2014 (BUSM I)


I. What are free time electives?

Free-time electives are non-graded courses offered to BUSM I medical students
in the spring semester. All BUSM I students are welcome to attend these electives
although students with advanced placement in one or more spring courses (those
with “free time”) are highly encouraged to attend. No grades are awarded for
these electives (with the exception of B.U. undergraduate courses and SPH courses
– see below), and no mark will appear on your transcript. If you sign up for
a GMS course you will be auditing it.


II. Requirements and Deadlines

Requirement: You must be in good academic standing in order to sign
up for a free-time elective, and you must continue to be in good academic
standing as the semester progresses. You are encouraged to meet with a dean
in the Office of Student Affairs if there are questions regarding your academic
status and suitability to undertake an elective.

Enrollment period: December 3, 2013 – January 6, 2014 (there are exceptions
– see below).

Questions? Contact Ana Bediako.


III. Descriptions of Free-Time Electives: Spring, 2014

All free-time electives are listed below. Each elective has a specific person
who handles sign up. Contact this person directly to enroll.

  1. Business and Leadership in Medicine
  2. Clinical Infectious Disease
  3. Embodied Health
  4. The Healer’s Art
  5. Introduction to Clinical Ethics
  6. Introduction to Emergency Medicine
  7. The Spectrum of Physician Advocacy
  8. Visual Literacy in Medical Education
  9. Division of Graduate Medical Sciences Courses
  10. School of Public Health Courses
  11. Undergraduate Courses at BU


1. Business and Leadership in Medicine

>> To sign up: Go to Google

Course Managers: Jade Anderson,
BUSM II, and Robert Burns, BUSM II

The major objectives of the course include:

  1. To explore the various ways to be a leader in medicine.
  2. To explore the benefits of pursuing an MBA and other formal education to
    meet your career goals as a physician and as a leader.
  3. To recognize how physician-leaders in medicine have brought about positive
    changes in the practice of medicine through their roles in the insurance industry,
    the pharmaceutical industry, government, and other areas.
  4. To learn how we, as future physicians, can become leaders and learn to analyze
    complex health care problems through both a clinical and a business lens.


Business and Leadership in Medicine is a spring elective that serves as a crash
course for medical students on leadership and business in medicine. Physicians
have historically played a great role in the advancement of medical practice,
from the development of drugs and devices to the development of care guidelines.
Physicians play key roles in the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry,
the government, the health care consulting industry, and beyond. Even in a strictly
clinical setting, the ability to manage and lead has become increasingly valuable
given the ever-increasing demands to deliver high quality care at lower costs.
This course is an opportunity to deepen your understanding of topics that are
not covered in depth in medical school, but will profoundly affect the practice
of medicine. The course will feature health care leaders from a wide range of
industries and professional expertise. Furthermore, the course will also feature
in-class case studies and case presentations that will hone your leadership
skills and style. This is an excellent opportunity to connect with prominent
physician-leaders who can serve as mentors throughout your medical school career
and beyond.

Course Structure: There will be eight 90-minute classes from January
28, 2014 – April 1, 2014. The course will be limited to the first 30 students
who sign-up. During the first session, seven teams of five students will be
developed. The leadership roles of each of those students will change each session.
The teams will be given a case study related to the topic for each session.
The course sessions will run: 30 minute introduction, 50 minute case study (team
discussion and presentation), and 10 minute follow-up.

Requirements: The course requirements involve attendance of 7/8 sessions
and active involvement in case studies during the course.

Course Schedule:

All sessions are Tuesday, 6:00 – 7:30 PM: 1/28/14, 2/4/14, 2/11/14, 2/18/14,
2/25/14, 3/18/14, 3/25/14, 4/1/14


2. Clinical Infectious Disease/Departments of Infectious
Diseases and Pathology, BUSM

>> To sign up: Complete the questionnaire
by December 13 and e-mail it to Ian Francis,
Student Course Manager.


  • Natasha Hochberg, MD, MPH – Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious
    Diseases, BUSM and Department of Epidemiology, BUSPH
  • Jerrold Ellner, MD – Department of Medicine, Chief of Infectious Diseases
  • Nancy Miller – Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


The Clinical Infectious Disease Elective provides students with the opportunity
to integrate their curriculum-based knowledge of microbiology with the clinical
and laboratory facets of infectious disease. This elective is another venue
for pre-clinical medical students to gain exposure to clinical medicine while
increasing their awareness and appreciation for the field of infectious disease.
The elective will begin with an introductory lecture. The next 6 sessions will
be composed of BUMC’s Infectious Disease Clinical Case Conference with a
debrief with Drs. Hochberg and Ellner, followed by either a clinical session
or a lab session. Each clinical session will include examination and discussion
of 2-4 patient cases led by an infectious disease clinician. Laboratory sessions,
when possible, will be organized to relate to the clinical cases discussed;
these will focus on learning about diagnostics used in a clinical setting. A
detailed breakdown of the schedule is below.


The elective curriculum is designed to have two principal components: clinical
shadowing experiences and laboratory exercises. The elective will take place
on Fridays, coinciding with Infectious Disease consulting rounds. The curriculum
is arranged for students to join rounds and participate in small group case
discussions with attendings, fellows, and 4TH year medical students. This elective
will provide additional ways for first and second-year students to gain clinical
exposure. We believe the elective will demonstrate how microbiology correlates
into clinical practice. For second-year students, this elective will provide
reinforcement of Disease and Therapy curriculum and an opportunity to translate
curricular knowledge to clinical application. It is the goal of the elective
to help those students who are interested collaborate with a member of the ID
department to produce a case write up.


  • To introduce pre-clinical medical students to the field of clinical infectious
    disease, and provide an opportunity for students to pursue their interest
    in infectious disease.


  • Exposure to infectious disease in a clinical setting.
  • Develop general knowledge of the clinical presentation of infectious diseases.
  • Develop an understanding of the diagnostic processes used to identify infectious
  • Gain knowledge on the treatment of infectious diseases.
  • Knowledge of differences and similarities of infectious disease in Boston
    and internationally.
  • Introduction to current infectious disease research at BUMC.


The elective is divided into 7 sessions. The introductory and culminating sessions
will act to lay the groundwork and bring closure to the goals and experiences
of the elective. All 7 sessions are broken down as shown.

  • January 6: 2:30-4pm – Introduction/Mini-lecture/Clinical session – Dr. Ellner
  • January 10: 1:15-4pm – ID Case Conference/Lab session – Clinical Staff/Dr.
  • January 17: 1:15-4pm – ID Case Conference/Clinical session – Clinical Staff
  • January 24: 1:15-4pm – ID Case Conference/Lab session – Clinical Staff/Dr.
  • January 31: 1:15-4pm – ID Case Conference/Clinical session – Clinical Staff
  • February 14: 1:15-4pm – ID Case Conference/Lab session – Clinical Staff/Dr.
  • February 28: 1:15-4pm – ID Case Conference/Wrap-up – Clinical Staff

A “Careers in ID” lecture will be hosted at a later date for those who are
still interested following the elective.

A. Laboratory session: Students will accompany ID team to the clinical
microbiology laboratory for “working rounds”. Rounds will involve a review of
laboratory data associated with patient case(s) of interest, including examination
of culture material (as available), diagnostic methodology and algorithms, result
reporting, follow up concerns. Dr. Miller will be given summaries of the cases
seen in clinic the preceding session in order to enable preparation for a complementary
lab session.

B. Clinical sessions: As a group, students and the clinical preceptor
will visit 2-4 patients over the course of ~2hours. These will primarily consist
of patients in the inpatient setting as well as ideally one afternoon set aside
for visiting the outpatient setting. The clinician will discuss the case and
pertinent microbiology, pathology, and treatment. Students will then join the
attending in the patient’s room to review the relevant history and perform pertinent
aspects of the physical examination. At the introduction lecture, students will
be oriented to the patient population they will be working with and will review
general concepts related to history- taking, physical examination skills, and
infectious disease principles.


Students are expected to attend 100% of the sessions. Students are expected
to inform Dr. Hochberg/Ellner of any extenuating circumstances requiring absence
from class.


The elective is limited to 8 students, who will be selected by a blinded application
system prioritizing MS2 applicants. The small student number facilitates the
clinical experiences, interactions with patients, and involvement in laboratory
activities. Students will be asked to submit applications for the elective.


The elective will be 7 sessions spread out over the course of the Spring 2014
semester. Except for the first week sessions will be limited to one session
per week every week as the academic calendar allows.

COURSE EVALUATION: Students participating in the elective will fill
out a survey assessing the success of the course in achieving its learning objectives.


3. Embodied Health

>>To sign up: E-mail Faiza Yasin.

Embodied Health is a spring elective directed towards first- and second-year
medical students with a focus on cultivating wellness and instructing on the
clinical efficacy of mind-body practices through yoga and mindfulness practice.
Integrating experiential and academic learning, this elective investigates the
physiological the underlying the curative properties of mind-body practices
and their clinical applications and reviews seminal research, while teaching
students to reduce stress and enhance self-care.

Course Objectives:

  • Promoting student wellness
  • Offering a subjective and experiential context for aspects of the medical
    curriculum including but not limited to neuroscience and physiology.
  • Disseminating cutting edge information on the efficacy of mind-practice
    beyond what is available in the current curriculum.
  • Appreciating the profound relationship between mental and physical health.
  • Promoting student community.

Course Schedule:

The course will meet on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 – 7:15 PM, on the following
days: 1/7/14, 1/14/14, 1/21/14, 1/28/14, 2/4/14, 2/11/14, 2/18/14, 2/25/14.


Course requirements include attendance at 7 out of 8 sessions, completion
of the readings, and a brief reflection paper.

Course Structure:

  • 30-minute lecture on the neurophysiological and psychological mechanisms
    underlying the practice of the day, tracing relevant and up-to-date research
    on the theme of the evening, and its potential relevance for doctors and their
  • One-hour of yoga/mindfulness practice with a specific theme
  • 15-minute discussion between lecturer and students


4. The Healer’s Art

All information on this elective is available at The
Healer’s Art


5. Introduction to Clinical Ethics (no info received
as of 12/3/13)


6. Introduction to Emergency Medicine

>> To sign up: Print the registration
, and bring it to Liz Gallagher in the Office of Student Affairs, Rm.
A208A, M-F, 8 AM – 4 PM. E-mail will not be accepted. The deadline to sign up
is Wednesday, December 11, 2013. All students will be notified of their placement
by Wednesday, December 18, 2013. The class capacity is 60 students (first come,
first serve). Once the class has filled, interested students will be put on
a waiting list. For more information contact Liz Gallagher, Student Programs

Course Manager: Ron Medzon, M.D.

Elective Summary:

  • Goal: To teach the fundamental approach to a variety of emergency
    medical conditions, whether encountered inside or outside the hospital.
  • Objectives: To provide the students with the knowledge and skills
    required to provide immediate aid, to identify problems, to establish a differential
    diagnosis of important problems, and to devise a treatment plan for those
    problems. Reading: Introduction to Emergency Medicine, Mitchell E and Mozden
    R, eds., Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, 2005.
  • Description: There will be ten 60-90-min. classes January 29, 2014
    – April 16, 2014. All classes are at the Medical Campus. Students will be
    allowed to sign up for either one ambulance ride with Boston EMS or spend
    an evening in the BMC Harrison Ave. Emergency Room observing (4 hours). Sign
    up for ambulance rides will be held after the class begins on January 29.

Course Schedule:

  • 1/29/14, 1:30 – 2:45 PM – ACLS with Joseph Kahn - Room L-109A/B/C
  • 2/5/14, 3:45 – 5:00 PM - Change in Mental Status with Gabrielle Jacquet
    – L-110
  • 2/12/14, 3:15 – 4:45 PM – Disaster Medicine with Lori Harrington
    – L-212/L-214
  • 2/19/14, 3:45 – 5:00 PM – Toxicology with Judy Linden - L-110
  • 2/15/14, 3:15 – 4:45 PM - Trauma with Morsal Tahouni – L-301
  • 3/19/14, 1:00 – 3:15 PM – Chest Pain with Ron Medzon - L-109A/B/C
  • 3/26/14, 1:00 – 3:15 PM – Shock with Evan Berg – L-301
  • 4/2/14, 1:00 – 2:15 PM – Musculoskeletal with Liz Mitchell – L-301
  • 4/9/14, 12:00 – 1:30 PM – Shortness of Breath with Thea James – L-110
  • 4/16/14, 12:00 – 1:30 PM – Case-Based Review of Course with Ron Medzon –


7. The Spectrum of Physician Advocacy

>> To sign up: Go to Google
. A maximum of 35 students will be allowed to take the course, so be
thoughtful in your responses and committed to completing the course.

Course Managers: Second-year medical students: Fabian Chang, Juliette
Flam, Jessalyn Gale, and Kumar Vasudevan. Contact us:


This elective offers a broad overview of the many roles of the physician as
an advocate and focuses on conveying an understanding of the social context
of disease along with connecting students to opportunities for further development
of advocacy/health services research skills. This course was developed and is
largely organized by medical students.

Topics to be covered include:

  • The social determinants of health;
  • Direct advocacy in patient care;
  • Working with communities to implement effective health interventions;
  • Translating community and public health concerns into good health policy;
  • Methods/opportunities to address global health inequities.


The course requirements involve attendance of 7 out of 8 sessions, short readings
each session, and a brief final project. Elective Schedule: There will be a
total of eight two-hour sessions over three months. All classes but ONE will
be held on Wednesdays (unless otherwise noted), 4:30 – 6:30 PM. Dates are as
follows: 1/29/13, 2/5/13, 2/12/13, 2/19/13, 2/26/13, 3/19/13, 3/26/13, and 3/24/13


8. Visual Literacy in Medical Education

>> To sign-up: Go to
Google Docs
(use BU credentials to log-in)

Course Managers: Tripp Leavitt,
Robin Djang

The major objectives of the course include:

  • Hone observational skills vital to comprehensive patient care, emphasizing
    the importance of active looking in medicine.
  • Engage students and faculty in discourse outside of the traditional field
    of medicine; enhancing communication and teamworking skills.
  • Reinforce the importance of pursuing neutral lines of questioning in obtaining
    a patient history through discussion of art.
  • Provide an outlet for creative expression for medical students to facilitate
  • Create an experience that is both educational and stress-relieving, teaching
    medical skills from a different perspective.
  • Facilitate the practice of art at BUSM and illustrate its emerging role
    in the field of medicine.


In looking beyond medicine’s traditional boundaries there is potential to gain
new perspectives and insight. This elective aims to incorporate the practice
and analysis of art into medical education. All materials will be provided and
no previous arts-related experience is required.

A stronger, more nuanced appreciation of the arts offers the potential for
sharper observational and communication skills that are important in the clinical
setting. This elective aims to lead MSI & II students through a number of Visual
Arts courses they are not normally not able to participate in at a medical school
– For example, a life-drawing class with a model, deciphering visual narratives
in art, or linking the normal anatomy seen in a model / sculpture to what we
observe in radiographic imaging modalities.

We hope that our classmates gain a stronger ability to describe what they are
observing clinically and to transmit those observations clearly to other clinicians
by using the same tools and techniques found in the Visual Arts. Finally, this
curriculum will create an experience that is both educational and stress-relieving
and offers an opportunity for students to interact with Faculty outside of the
traditional lecture hall.

Course Structure:

5 sessions consisting of:

  • Introduction to Drawing – Still-life In this session, students will gain
    an introduction to drawing to familiarize themselves with basic drawing techniques
    and materials.
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (2 Sessions) In this session, students will be
    presented with artwork and tasked with discussing the piece in small groups
    led by a facilitator. There will be two of these sessions, which will take
    place at nearby art galleries.
  • Radiology/Drawing Exercises In this session led by Dr. Kitt Shaffer, students
    will participate in a team-based drawing exercise, followed by a radiology
    session. This will take place at the Museum of Fine Arts. Students should
    gain an improved ability to interpret radiological images and their relation
    to 3D anatomy.
  • Life-drawing Class In this session, students will participate in a life-drawing
    exercise with a live model. The class will be led by a member of the BU College
    of Fine Arts and will take place in the CFA studio at the Charles River Campus.


  • Reading assignments (2 short articles to offer a broader context of art’s
    application in medicine)
  • Mandatory attendance at all sessions. There is only room for 15 students
    in the elective, and we thus would like to ensure that those who will participate
    in all sessions are given priority. More importantly, benefiting from the
    implementation of art in medical education requires repeated exposures. Scheduling
    of the class has however been done with M1 & M2 exam schedules in mind.

Course Schedule:

  1. Still-life – intro to drawing – Jan. 24, 1:30 – 3:30 PM, MSR lounge
  2. Radiology & sculpture w/ Dr. Shaffer, Feb. 10, 2:00 – 5:00 PM, MFA (meet
    at 710 Albany St. bus stop to catch 2:10 PM bus)
  3. Visual Thinking Strategies – TBA*, SoWa or 808 Gallery
  4. Visual Thinking Strategies – TBA*, SoWa or 808 Gallery
  5. Life-drawing from a model – week of March 24**, TBA**, BU College of Fine
    Arts (Charles River Campus)

*Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) sessions: We are still in the process of
solidifying dates and times. In total, there will be 2 VTS sessions, each lasting
2 hours. These sessions will occur on separate days but will be scheduled to
fit within these time blocks:

  • Fri, Feb 21: 2:30 – 7:30 PM
  • Tue, Feb 25: 4:30 – 7:30 PM
  • Tue, March 18: 4:00 – 7:30 PM

**Life-drawing class will occur one afternoon/early evening the week of March
24-28. The session will last 2 hrs.

If more than 15 students apply, we will send out an application asking students
to agree that they will attend all sessions (once the dates & times have been
set) and a short paragraph explaining their interest in taking part in the elective.
Past art experience will not factor into our decision for selecting. Instead
we are looking for a sincere interest in learning aspects of medicine through
the application of art. Special thanks to the BU Arts Initiative for providing
funding for this elective.


9. Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS) Courses

Medical students who enroll in GMS courses will be auditing the courses. No
grade will be generated. You are allowed to take up to 4 credits without being
charged tuition.

Follow these steps to audit GMS courses:

  1. View a complete listing of all GMS courses at the Student
    . You may view course #, time, and instructor information.
  2. E-mail Ana Bediako with the list of
    courses you would like to audit. Ana will confirm that you are in good academic
    standing, approve your electives, and send final authorization to you and
    the GMS registrar.
  3. Fill out an ADD/DROP
    . If necessary, obtain signature(s) of course manager(s) to enroll.
    Bring the form to L-309 (GMS office).

Last day to add GMS classes is January 29, 2014.


10. School of Public Health (Credit)

Medical students with advanced standing, i.e. first-year students who are exempted
from one or more first-year medical school courses, may take one SPH course
during their first year of medical school at no additional cost. These
courses are not considered free-time electives; these courses bear credit and
a grade is generated.
Courses taken as part of this program will
appear on an official Boston University transcript. For more info, go to: Advanced
Standing Program for BUSM1 Students


11. Undergraduate (Credit) Courses at BU

First-year medical students may enroll – at no additional charge – in one additional
undergraduate course per semester that is not greater than two credits.
If a student chooses to enroll in a course that is greater than 2 credits,
a charge will be assessed at the rate for that course. These courses
are not considered free-time electives; these courses bear credit and a grade
is generated.
Courses will appear on an official Boston University
transcript. Go to the Student
for registration details.