Educational Offerings for Medical Students

Undergraduate Medical Education: First & Second Year

UVA’s first and second year curriculum is organized by blocks of weeks devoted to different biological systems. Education about biomedical ethics, humanities, and professionalism is provided in two formats – through “threads” that run through the biological systems, and in the two-year Clinical Performance Development Course, which is devoted to general clinical practice, such as physical examination and patient interviewing skills.

In addition, Center faculty provide instruction in the Healer’s Art, a curriculum designed by Rachel Naomi Remen MD of UCSF School of Medicine, and adopted by medical schools throughout the U.S. to assist students in “maintaining a sense of personal and professional satisfaction in their work and maintaining an ongoing commitment to the profession.” The noncredit elective course is taught in five three-hour evening sessions over a three-month period.

Third Year

As medical students explore the practice of medicine through clinical clerkships in the third year, the Center for Health Humanities & Ethics offers ethics and humanities sessions within particular clerkships. Currently, the Center offers sessions within the Geriatrics, Neurology, and Internal Medicine clerkships.

Fourth Year

The Center offers a diverse range of four- and two-week elective courses for medical students in their fourth year. Examples include History of Medicine, Literature and Medicine, Public Health in Fiction and Film, Medical Spanish, and Medicine, Law, and Ethics.

The Interprofessional Seminar in Ethical Values and Professional Life, sponsored by the Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life, brings together students of medicine, law, business administration, and graduate study in the humanities to reflect on ethical values and responsibilities across professional roles through the study of literature and film.

Independent research opportunities are also available in medical humanities and biomedical ethics with prior arrangement.

For more information go to the “Electives” section of the UVA Medical School Handbook under “Humanities and Ethics in Medicine” or follow this link.

Fellowship Program in Bioethics

The Center offers, on a limited basis, a year-long fellowship in biomedical ethics for students between their third and fourth years of medical school. This closely mentored fellowship includes structured coursework and service requirements, as well as completion of a mentored research project. For more information, please contact Margaret Mohrmann.

Graduate Medical Education

Center faculty regularly lecture on topics related to biomedical ethics in the quarterly lecture series hosted by the Graduate Medical Education Office and offered to UVA’s residents and fellows.