Concentrations

By the end of the fall semester Year 1, medical students select one of the following areas of concentration for their capstone project.

Beginning in the spring of Year 1, students take the first of three selective courses in their concentration. In addition to taking selective courses, students are expected to attend concentration specific seminars to develop expertise in their area of concentration and the skills necessary to conduct the capstone project.

Basic, Translational and Clinical Science Research

capstone basic

The goal of the basic, translational and clinical science research concentration is to provide students with an opportunity to gain additional experience and expertise in a basic or clinical science area of interest. 
Students have the opportunity to:

  • learn advanced basic science methodology in disciplines such as Neuroscience, Microbiology, Immunology, and Oncology.
  • explore how basic science findings might be translated into clinical trials.
  • learn how to design and implement well-designed clinical studies.
  • gain an in depth understanding of the use of human subjects in research and the storage/management of protected patient information.

Students in this concentration are able to independently complete a scientific research project in an area of interest using advanced scientific techniques and statistical analysis of the data.

Learning Objectives: After completing the basic, translational and clinical science research concentration, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate expertise in a specific area of research through completion of a mentored self-directed scholarly capstone project.
  2. Describe the factors that go into the design and implementation of a clinical trial. 
  3. Describe how a set of basic science research experiments are designed and implemented.
  4. Illustrate how research data is recorded, stored, and protected with an emphasis on protecting patient confidentiality.
  5. Relate how basic science experiments translate to clinical trials and improved patient care and outcomes.
  6.  Effectively communicate both their work and their understanding of science and health to their peers and to the public. 
  7. Identify the components of a satisfactory Institutional Review Board (IRB) application, recognizing common pitfalls and challenges to IRB approval.

Examples of capstone courses offered in the concentration:

BMS 200(UC) Biology of Aging
BMS 525Vaccines and Vaccine Preventable Diseases
BMS 565Leukemia
BMS 573Mycology
BMS 576Drug Discovery and Development
BMS 583Forensic Pathology
BMS 584Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
BMS 585Outbreak Control
BMS 591The New Genetics and Human Future
BMS 599Biomarkers
HSC 305Emotional/Social Intelligence for the Health Sciences
MED 711Fundamentals of Clinical Trials
MED 717Seminal Papers in Medicine
MED 718Evolutionary Medicine
RS 454Forensics Imaging Seminar

Meet the Coordinators
Mark Yeckel 
Lisa Cuchara

Global, Public and Community Health

"The Global, Public and Community Health Concentration engages students in studying individual and population health in our own communities and in communities in many countries of the world. Our goal is to provide students with education, service, research and travel opportunities that build an understanding of the complexity of global health conditions. By completing the concentration, students will acquire skills to assess these complexities in an academic context and to consider ways that they can make a difference."

-  David R Hill, MD DTM&H FRCP FFTM FASTMH 
Professor of Medical Sciences Coordinator, Global, Public and Community Health Concentration

The goal of this concentration is provide an interdisciplinary focus of study that enables students to understand and be able to promote individual and population health throughout the world. This will be accomplished through:

  • didactic instruction
  • community and international learning
  • independent investigation culminating in a scholarly capstone project  

The Commission for Education of Health Professionals (Frenk J et al. Lancet 376:1923, 2010) has emphasized the need for global knowledge and experience for the development of transformative leaders in health and primary care: 

'Education of professionals with intercultural sensitivities is important for increasingly diverse patient populations. The trans-national flow of diseases, risks, technologies, and career opportunities also demands new competencies in professionals. These competencies should be advanced through curricular inclusion of global health, including cross-cultural and cross-national experiential exposure.' 

These guiding principles can also be applied to the diversity of populations within a local community.   

Selectives for this concentration are offered across the campus, including, but not limited to, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Law, the School of Business, and the School of Medicine.  The knowledge gained in these selectives provides the foundation for a capstone project with scholarly inquiry into a specific aspect of global, public and community health.

Learning Objectives
After completing the global, public, and community health concentration students will be able to:  

  1. Identify how social determinants of health (social and health inequities, ethics in health care, health as a human right, role of poverty and globalization in health, conflict and health, migration) impact health systems and patient care.    
  2. Relate how the burden of communicable disease particularly those that disproportionately affect the world's poor (e.g. malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, vaccine-preventable disease) contribute to the global burden of morbidity and mortality.
  3. Determine how non-communicable disease (e.g. obesity, tobacco/household smoke inhalation and lung disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, accidents and injuries) contribute to the global burden of morbidity and mortality.
  4. Appraise how disparities in maternal child health impact  morbidity and mortality in low-income countries or underserved areas of high income countries.    
  5. Evaluate the characteristics of successful and failed health systems with a focus on health education and retention, capacity building, participation, sustainability, and system enhancement.
  6. Examine different programs, models, approaches and responses to disease control both within local and international communities (e.g. Millennium Development Goals, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Gates Foundation, and local and state departments of health).
  7. Demonstrate expertise in a specific area of global, public, or community health through completion of a mentored self-directed scholarly capstone project. 

Examples of capstone courses offered in the concentration:

BMS 584Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
BMS 585Outbreak Control
LAWS 564Poverty Law
MED 712Introduction to Global Public Health
MED 713Biocultural Approaches to Medicine
MED 717Seminal Papers in Medicine
OL 615Leadership Across Boundaries
PL 320Thought and Work of Albert Schweitzer (SL:Service Learning)
PRR 511International Public Relations
SW 504Social Welfare Policy

Meet the Coordinators:
David R. Hill, MD DTM&H FRCP FFTM FASTMH
Representative of the Weitzman Quality Institute of Community Health Center, Daren Anderson

Health Communications

communications capstone

The goal of this concentration is to enhance students' understanding of the impact of how medical professionals interact with peers, patients, communities, and society about bio-medical information. This is accomplished by completing course work in the School of Communications in areas such as:

  • Interactive media
  • Journalism
  • Film and video production
  • Public Relations  

Information learned in these courses provides the foundation for a capstone project with scholarly inquiry into a specific aspect of how physicians communicate medical information. 

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this concentration students will be able to:

  1. Describe and demonstrate different methodologies to effectively communicate medical information.   
  2. Analyze the impact of media on the physician-patient relationship.
  3. Understand the role of the physician in disseminating health information to fellow physicians, patients, and the community.
  4. Demonstrate advanced knowledge or expertise in a specific area of bio-medical communication through completion of a mentored self-directed scholarly or professional capstone project.  

Examples of capstone courses offered in the concentration:

ICM 501Theories of Interactive Media
ICM 502Visual Design
ICM 504Interactive Animation and Mobile Design
ICM 505Interactive Techniques
ICM 506Writing for Interactive Media
ICM 508Media Production
ICM 512User Centered Design
ICM 522Social Media Concepts and Practice
ICM 530Independent Study
JRN 521Audio Storytelling
JRN 565Presenting and Producing Television Sports: Remote
JRN 572Researching and Writing the News Documentary
JRN 580Investigative Reporting
JRN 590Newsroom Clinical (SPS 490)
JRN 590Newsroom Clinical (SPS 490)
PRR 506Public Relations Management
PRR 507Strategic Planning in Public Relations
PRR 511International Public Relations

Meet the Coordinators:
Norbert Herzog
Phillip Simon

Health Policy and Advocacy

capstone discussion advocacy

The goal of this concentration is to give medical students a deeper understanding of the relationship between the law and all aspects of medical practice ranging from physician patient interaction to the systematic delivery of healthcare. This is accomplished by completing course work in the School of Law and other University schools. The information learned in these courses provides the foundation for a capstone project with scholarly inquiry into a specific aspect of the relationship between law and medicine.

Learning Objectives:
After completing the health policy and advocacy concentration students will be able to:   

  1. Describe the factors that shape health policy and how policies influence the delivery of healthcare and the laws that govern it.
  2. Evaluate how regulatory agencies have impacted medical practice at the individual and systems level.
  3. Recognize the impact different stakeholders (patients, clinicians, governments, third party payers, regulatory agencies) have in how health care is delivered and paid for.
  4. Apply the legal rights of specific vulnerable populations (e.g. older adults, children) to medical practice and care for these patients.
  5. Demonstrate expertise in a specific area of health policy and/or advocacy through completion of a mentored self-directed scholarly capstone project.    


Examples of capstone courses offered in the concentration:

CIS 650Information Systems Security
CJ 300Special Topics
CJ 370Constitution, Ethics and Policing
HM 630Corporate Compliance in the Health Care Industry
HM 663Integrated Health Systems and Managed Care
HM 668Legal Aspects of Health Care Delivery
LAWS 345Health Law
LAWS 364Federal Regulation of Healthcare Fraud
LAWS 542Healthcare Industry Regulation & Control
LAWS 544Advanced Health Law, SW
LAWS 564Poverty Law
LAWS 604Medical Malpractice
LE 360Mediation
SO 263(UC) Sociology of the Aged (GT 263)
SO 300Special Topics
SW 504Social Welfare Policy

Meet the Coordinators 
Linda Ellis

Healthcare Management and Organizational Leadership

management capstone
The goal of this concentration is to give medical students a deeper understanding of how healthcare organizations function, ranging from a private practice to a large hospital or hospital system.

Students will:
  • learn how health organizations integrate interprofessional practice to promote a safe environment for patient care.
  • understand how medical information is managed and protected at the systems level.
  • have the option of focusing on leadership to understand the characteristics of leadership and how to manage people and direct organizational change.

These goals are accomplished by completing course work primarily in the School of Business. The information learned in these courses provides the foundation for a capstone project with scholarly inquiry into a specific aspect of health management or the impact of leadership on managing a healthcare organization.

Learning Objectives
After completing the healthcare management and organizational leadership concentration students will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic principles that guide organization management and apply these principles to health care organizations.
  2. Relate how patient safety metrics and regulatory compliance agencies (e.g. JCAHO) influence the management of, and decision making within, a health care organization.
  3. Illustrate how ethical and principled leadership can create a safe and responsible culture within a health care system.
  4. Appraise different fiscal models of health care management and their potential impact on patient care.
  5. Explain how health care systems organize, store, and protect patient health care information identifying potential challenges to privacy and organizational solutions.
  6. Demonstrate expertise in a specific area of health management and leadership through the completion of a mentored self-directed scholarly capstone project.  

Examples of capstone courses offered in the concentration:

CIS 650Information Systems Security
CIS 660Electronic Commerce Implementation
CIS 690Managing Information Technology Projects and Organizations
HM 600Foundations of Health Care Management
HM 621Quality Management in Health Care Facilities
HM 626Epidemiology and Population Health
HM 630Corporate Compliance in the Health Care Industry
HM 660Human Resource Management in Health Care Administration
HM 663Integrated Health Systems and Managed Care
HM 664Financial Management in Health Care Organizations
HM 668Legal Aspects of Health Care Delivery
OL 601Foundations of Organizational Leadership
OL 610The Power and Politics of Communication
OL 615Leadership Across Boundaries
OL 630Performance Management
OL 650Leading Organizational Change
OL 662Ethics & Governance
OL 682Employment Law for the Non-Lawyer
OL 687Strategic Planning for Public Service Organizations

Meet the Coordinators 
Angela Mattie
Aziz Benbrahim

Medical Education

The goal of this concentration is to provide medical students with learning theories and teaching skills they can utilize in all aspects of their careers as physicians.  

Students will:

  • learn how to analyze their teaching and create new goals based upon their analyses.
  • learn about academic medicine, types of educational scholarship, and possible career paths within medical education.
  • complete an educator portfolio.
  • have the option of focusing on educating health professionals (including peers) or other groups (e.g. children, lay people) about medical information.

Students will complete course work in the School of Education and the School of Medicine which will provide the foundation for a scholarly capstone project in an area of medical education.

Learning Objectives
After completing the medical education concentration students will be able to:  

  1. Recognize the categories of medical education (teaching, curriculum development, mentoring, leadership/administration, learner evaluation, and education research).
  2. Describe basic learning theories and learning styles.
  3. Analyze their own and other's teaching using an educational framework.
  4. Apply teaching and learning principles in at least one setting in which they teach or contribute to curriculum development.
  5. Identify the components of educational scholarship.
  6. Construct an educator portfolio.
  7. Demonstrate expertise in a specific area of medical education through completion of a mentored self-directed scholarly capstone project.

Examples of capstone courses offered in the concentration:

ED 503Methods II: Teaching Chemistry
ED 510Adolescent Development
ED 521Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
ED 525Diversity in the Classroom
ED 550Issues and Research in Education
EDL 501Teacher Leadership to Transform School Culture
EDL 503Leading the Instructional Program to Improve Student Learning
EDL 525Diversity in the Classroom and School Community
EDL 527Financing Program Improvement Initiatives
EDL 605Leading and Managing School Improvement
EDL 609Educational Program Evaluation
Meet the Coordinators
Anne Dichele
Lisa Coplit

Medical Humanities

The goal of the medical humanities concentration is to further the development of humanistic physicians by exploring the human condition and medical practice as described in literature, art, history, philosophy, and ethics.

Material from these disciplines offers insight into the patient-physician relationship, placing illness in a personal, societal, and cultural context.  

Selective courses for this concentration are offered across the campus, including, but not limited, to the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Law, the School of Business, and the School of Medicine.  The knowledge learned in these courses provides the foundation for a capstone project with scholarly inquiry into a specific aspect of the medical humanities.  

Learning Objectives 
After completing the medical humanities concentration students will be able to:        

  1. Identify how the perception of medical practice by individuals, cultures, and societies impacts the individual patient-physician relationship and the physician's relationship with other health professionals. 
  2. Appraise how a patient's and physician's perception of health and illness influences their interactions with the healthcare system, and ultimately, health outcomes
  3. Illustrate how the disciplines in the humanities interact with medical sciences to question, enlighten and enhance health care delivery.
  4. Reflect on how the study of the humanities impacts one's approach to the practice of medicine.
  5. Demonstrate expertise in a specific area of the medical humanities through completion of a mentored self-directed scholarly capstone project.  

Examples of capstone courses offered in the concentration:

AR 175(UC) Special Topics in Art
HS 394Doctors, Disease, and Death in the Western World
MED 713Biocultural Approaches to Medicine
MED 714Creative Writing for Health Professionals
MED 715Literature and Medicine
MED 719Medicine & the Arts: a New Paradigm for Healthcare Practice
MED 721Compassionate Respect: a Response to Suf
MED 722Compassion and the Healer's Art
PL 320Thought and Work of Albert Schweitzer (SL:Service Learning)
PS 300Special Topics in Psychology
SO 305Death, Grief & Bereavement (GT 305)
Meet the Coordinators
Richard Gonzalez 
Nita Prasad

Self-Designed

In some situations, students may identify an interest or project that does not fit well with currently available concentrations. In keeping with the course philosophy of self-directed learning, students may design a unique concentration, identifying three graduate level courses that fit their area of interest. They must also identify a mentor and project that aligns with the course work and area of interest.

For concentration specific seminars in the pre-clinical years, individual students will be assigned to the most closely related concentration. Self-designed concentrations must be approved by the Course Director and will be reviewed annually.

Learning Objectives:  
After completing the self-designed concentration students will be able to:
  1. Identify a unique course curriculum that relates the area of concentration to medicine.
  2. Demonstrate expertise in a unique concentration area through completion of a mentored self-directed scholarly capstone project.
  3. Additional learning objectives will be developed by the student with the mentor and/or Course Director depending on the area of study.