School of Medicine Electives & Selectives

Basic Science and Humanities Selectives

  • Public Health Research

    PMCU 4016
    (offered periods 1 – 12)

    This course is appropriate for medical students interested in public health careers or concerned about public health issues. The course is a required selective in the Public Health Track.

    Students will be introduced to the basic forms of research in population health—descriptive, analytical, interventional, and evaluative. Students will conduct a feasible research project in one of the core areas of public health—biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health policy, or social and behavioral sciences. Students who successfully complete this course will be prepared to: 1. develop an answerable research question relevant to public health; 2. locate and synthesize the pertinent literature; 3. propose an appropriate study design and data collection methods to analyze the question; and 4. discuss the implications of the research for the practice of clinical medicine and public health.

SOM Electives

  • Introduction to Aerospace Medicine

    Course Number: PMCR-4004
    Prequisites: Successful completion of Year 3
    Duration: 4 Weeks
    Additional Requirements: Interview with course director prior to enrollment
    Maximum Enrollment: 4
    Periods Offered: 1

    Faculty: Richard Jennings, MD

    Goals:
    Comprehension and appreciation of major contributions to the advancement of aviation and space flight by life science professionals and awareness of current and future medical challenges of aviation and spaceflight.

    Objectives:
     Students who complete this course will be prepared to: -identify the circumstances in which human factors impose hazardous limitations on current or proposed aerospace operations -review the literature pertinent to the issue -recognize gaps in the related knowledgebase -outline research objectives to address the knowledgebase deficits -demonsrtate familiarization with the history of aviation, spaceflight and the specialty of ASM -describe changes in normal human physiology during aviation and spaceflight -apply human factors engineering concepts related to aviation and spaceflight -identify the role of ASM specialists in the selection, training, medical certification and health maintenance of aviation and spaceflight personnel. 


    Description of Course Activities:
    Assigned readings; lecture/seminars daily. Presenters will be Aerospace Medicine Residency faculty or invited guests with expertise and experience in the breadth of Aerospace medicine topics to include: aerial application and pesticides; hyperbaric medicine/chamber dive; Physiologic training/altitude chamber ascent; Medical Air Evacuation; NASA JSC visit, International travel medicine; astronant and pilot medical certification/selection; impact, crash protection and restraint systems; medications and flying; aviation accident investigation; aviation cardiology; aviation ophthalmology; aviation otolaryngology; aviation neurology; medical factors in aerobatics; military aviation; International flight safety; and medical aspects of a mission to Mars.


    Students who would benefit from the course:
    This course would be useful to students wishing to explore careers in Aerospace Medicine or are interested in this topic as potentail future consultants to the space program.

  • Issues in Health and Healthcare among Hispanics - A Research Elective

    Course Number: PMCR-4009
    Prequisites: Successful completion of Year 2
    Duration: 4 Weeks
    Additional Requirements: An R form must be submitted 30 days in advance of all research electives.
    Maximum Enrollment: 5
    Periods Offered:
    1

    Faculty: Kyriakos Markides, PhD

    Goals:
    The student will become familiar with health issues facing Hispanic populations and their access to health care.

    Objectives:
     1. Understanding of the etiology and epidemiology of health issues focusing on Hispanics, such as diabetes and obesity. 2. Understanding of social, behavioral, economic, and cultural factors which impact health conditions of Hispanics. 3. Understanding of social, behavioral, economic, and cultural factors which impact on the utilization of health services (both physical and mental) by Hispanics. 

    Description of Course Activities:
    The four-week course will include 6 hours per week of tutorial discussion of assigned relevant readings. In addition, each student will select a specific problem on which he/she will perform library research. Finally, the student will work with faculty on conducting data analysis and preparation of a research paper on an Hispanic health issue.

    Students who would benefit from the course:  Future practicing physicians in the Southwestern United States.

  • Public Health in the Community

    Course Number: PMCR-4001
    Prequisites: Successful completion of Year 2
    Duration: 4 Weeks
    Additional Requirements: Please contact Dr. de Boer prior to enrollment to discuss course schedule.
    Maximum Enrollment: 2
    Periods Offered: 1-11

    Faculty: Melanie de Boer, PhD

    Goals:
    The student will become familiar with the roles and responsibilities of a Public Health Physician and investigate the relationship between the community based primary care physician and the local public health authority.

    Objectives:
     By the end of the elective the student will be familiar with the important Public Health responsibilities of a community health department (e.g., public health functions [Institute of Medicine]; ten essential services of public health); the relationships between clinical practice and public health and, the impact of policies on health care and health outcomes including impacts on vulnerable populations During the rotation the student will become familiar with communicating and sharing health information with the public, the methods of assessing community needs/strengths and options for intervention (e.g., community oriented primary care), media communications (e.g., strategies of using mass media, risk communication) and, evaluation of health information (e.g., websites, mass media, patient information [including literacy level and cultural sensitivity])


    Description of Course Activities:
    The four-week course will include 2-3 visits per week to the local Galveston County Health District and two hours per week of faculty tutorial discussion of assigned relevant readings at UTMB. The student will investigate the availability and uses of the selected medical evidence used to make local public health policy. The student will select a specific problem on which he/she will perform library research and subsequently complete a research paper focusing on intervention strategies of a specific community public health issue.


    Students who would benefit from the course:
    Students interested in the community aspects of medicine care and those who may want to gain additional information about identifying and communicating public health risks.

  • Topics in Public Health

    Course Number: PMCU-4017
    Prequisites: Successful completion of Year 2
    Duration: 4 Weeks
    Additional Requirements: None
    Maximum Enrollment: 30
    Periods Offered: 11

    Faculty:
    Christine Arcari, Ph.D., M.P.H

    Goals:
    Students will use basic epidemiological skills to describe and explain population health problems. Students will identify and review the evidence for alternative policy responses.

    Objectives: Students who successfully complete this course will be prepared to: (1) assemble and interpret epidemiological data to describe a specific health problem by person, time, and place; (2) identify biological, behavioral, social, and environmental determinants of population health problems; and (3) locate and appraise evidence-based interventions to address the population health problem.

    Description of Course Activities: Interactive lectures and small group discussion; faculty-mentored team projects and team presentations. Team projects to be presented in final week of course. Project will involve epidemiological description of specific health problem, identification of causal factors, review of public health approaches to addressing the problem. Examples of projects include reviews of: effective school-based obesity prevention programs, diabetes management in low resource communities, STD prevention in high prevalence populations, and campaigns to reduce drunk driving among young adults. 4 weeks (10-12 contact hours per week including 4 interactive lecture / discussion sessions per week)

    Students who would benefit from the course: Students interested in public health careers or concerned about public health issues. Required course for students in Public Health Track.
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