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UMHS Elective Program

UMHS offers elective courses in addition to the Basic Sciences Program.  The electives provide unique learning opportunities to augment the students’ general knowledge base, and enhance the students’ perspective on cultural, historical, and practical aspects of medicine.  The elective courses have by-design minimal requirements for completion, to insure non-interference with the medical school curriculum.

medical art therapy class

Intro to medical art therapy class

Introduction to Medical Art Therapy

This elective course introduces the practical application of Art Therapy, and how to create a supportive environment in which to best utilize the various techniques.  It exposes students firsthand to forms of art therapy that would be utilized for areas ranging from physiotherapy and rehabilitation to personal health and wellbeing.   Persons dealing with chronic illness, disease, trauma, or loss of life can benefit greatly from art therapy, helping them to work through their individual situation, and to promote and assist in the overall healing process via mediums of creative expression.  ‘Healing beyond the constructs of language’. Art therapy has been shown to improve quality of life in patients with terminal diseases, advanced heart failure, and chronic pain conditions. 

The course is comprised of five sessions taught on campus on Saturdays over the course of the semester.  Requirements for completing the course include attendance of all five sessions and completion of individual art projects.  There is no time requirement outside of class. The course is conducted by Dr. Michael Doherty, Professor of Neuroscience, and is available to all students.  Please feel free to contact him with any questions:

Course content:

Each two hour class begins with a discussion of that day’s form of art therapy, from rock painting to mandala designs.  Following introduction and discussion, the students engage in that specific activity. Both individual and group art projects are involved. 

History of Medicine

This five hour elective course provides an historical narrative on the evolution, and sometimes devolution, of medicine throughout history.  We begin with prehistory and move on to discuss ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian practices and treatments. We will cover the middle ages, both in Europe and the Middle East, and move on to ‘modern’ medicine.  This course sets perspective on the extent to which medicine has changed over time, how some techniques have not changed in thousands of years, and how religion, culture and society have affected, often profoundly, the progress or lack thereof of the medical world.  The course is presented in five one hour sessions distributed across the semester and is open to all students. 

Medical Research

UMHS offers the Medical Research elective to allow students to engage in research activities. Motivated and students interested in research with a history of strong academic performance have the opportunity to enroll in a 1-2 semester Medical Research elective course. This will allow them to develop a research project, under the mentorship of one of UMHS faculty members. 

The research elective course is a two-credit course for students interested in biomedical research. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of hypothesis, methodologies and experimentations executed to answer the questions offered to UMHS students through exposure to research problems-research questions, testable and/or test the hypothesis and appropriate analysis of the data. The outcome of this research will be presented in the form of a poster and an oral presentation In the UMHS Annual Research Conference.

Read more about research at UMHS here.

Introduction to Radiology

This five hour elective course introduces the student to Radiology and Imaging.  It begins with explaining the types of images available to clinicians (x-ray, CT, MRI, PET) and how to identify each type.  We continue with identification of bones and soft tissues (Examples include how to count ribs on a chest x-ray, or recognize internal organs on abdominal or thoracic CT scans).  The clinical portion would include how to recognize types of bone fractures and locations, an introduction on how to read chest x-rays, and imaging in orthopedic surgeries. The course is designed to be accessible to all students, including first semester.

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