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 Student Affairs Office if there are questions regarding their academic status and suitability for participation.

For questions, contact Ana Gregory.


Descriptions of Extracurricular Enrichment Activities at BUSM


Eat to Treat: A Nutrition Course for Future Clinicians

Faculty advisors: Kate Donovan, MS, RD, LDN; Olivia Weinstein, MS, RD, LDN

Student contact: Swetha Tummala (Class of 2024)

Eat to Treat: A Nutrition Course for Future Clinicians provides future physicians (first-year medical students) with a deeper understanding of nutrition and diet and their impact on chronic conditions. Course participants learn effective communication and counseling skills to engage with and treat patients while understanding the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The following skills are developed in the course:

  1. Nutrition knowledge: Students gain a better understanding of basic nutrition and medical nutrition therapy as they relate to common nutrition-related chronic diseases.
  2. Nutrition counseling: Students acquire skills to effectively counsel patients on nutrition topics and overcome cultural, social, and financial barriers to optimal nutrition
  3. Culinary skills: Students learn basic culinary skills to increase their appreciation for food and home-cooking, enhance their practical understanding of nutritional interventions, and better relate to their future patients.

The Healer’s Art

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


Medical Mandarin Club

Student coordinator: Oliver Yan (Class of 2024)

Faculty advisor: Daniel Chen, MD

The Medical Mandarin Club provides a supportive space for first- and second-year medical students to learn and practice Mandarin to prepare them for future clinical encounters with Mandarin-speaking patients. The club also provides volunteer opportunities for students to gain a cultural understanding of the Mandarin-speaking communities in the greater Boston area. Exposure to Mandarin-speaking communities allows students to appreciate the important public health and socioeconomic issues in these communities.


Medical Technology and Innovation

This EEA is connected to the In.Vision student organization at BUSM. Contact current student InVision leaders for more info.

The goal of the Medical Technology and Innovation (MTI) EEA is to introduce up-and-coming technological and entrepreneurial concepts relevant to medical students in order to cultivate curiosity for medical innovation, offer a functional understanding of upcoming advancements, and enable engagement with the development of tomorrow’s solutions.

MTI encompasses 8 total sessions, including an introduction meeting, 6 didactics, and a final presentation. Sessions run for 1.5 hours. Each didactic is led by a guest speaker and facilitated by a student leader. The speaker delivers a 45-minute talk followed by discussion and demo/workshop of the relevant technologies/techniques mentioned where participants can receive some hands-on exposure to working with the technologies/techniques.


Surgery Enrichment Activity – MS1

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Tracey Dechert and Dr. Tejal Brahmbhatt

Student contacts: Andrew Kim, Aneesh Samineni, Neya Vishwanath

The M1 Surgery Enrichment Activity is designed for 1st year medical students to get early exposure to the field of general surgery and consists of a didactic portion and a skills portion. The didactics will address common questions regarding the field of general surgery and training, social determinants of health in surgery, and provide a brief overview to some of the common surgical diseases and procedures.


Surgery Enrichment Activity – MS2

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Tracey Dechert and Dr. Tejal Brahmbhatt

Student contact: Keerthi Vengatesan (class of 2020 student)

The M2 Surgery Enrichment Activity is designed for 2nd-year medical students to build on the experiences gained in the M1 version of this activity with additional focus on mentorship and exposure to the field of academic general surgery. In addition to didactic sessions, participants will also be assigned a general surgery mentor who is either a faculty member or a senior/chief resident and are asked to shadow them in 2 separate sessions, which can be in clinic, during morning rounds, or in the OR. Participants will also attend a minimum of one M&M conference and one Grand Rounds in General Surgery. There will also be a skills session focused on scrubbing, gowning, and gloving.