Medicine Patients and Society III

Course Overview

This two-week course for third-year students helps promote self-reflective and humanistic practice. The course has a special focus on improving competency in end-of-life patient care.  Pre-requisites: Medicine Clerkship.

The course learning objectives (which can be viewed by clicking on the link on upper-right) are achieved through
  • Students' Participation as Observers
  • Rounds on Pain and Palliative Care Service at MSKCC
  • Small Group Tutor Sessions
  • Topical Seminars
  • Visit to Calvary Hospice
  • Meeting with Course Director
  • Attendance at a New York-Presbyterian Hospital Ethics Committee meeting
  • Visit to Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Student Case Presentations

Patient Rounds: Student as Participant Observer
  • Student will be a participant observer on rotations where he/she does not have direct patient care responsibilities.

  • Student will spend one week on a rotation that is being considered for residency.

  • Student will observe patients and their intimates' responses to illness. Special attention will be paid to the ethical dimensions of clinical practice, care of the dying, doctor/patient/family communication, issues of spiritually, and issues of multiculturalism.

  • Student will observe practices of fellow students, residents, nurses, and attendings for the ability to integrate the technical and humanistic dimensions of care.

  • Student will record observations and reflections in daily logs. These observations will be discussed in small group sessions.

Pain and Palliative Care Rounds
  • Daily morning rounds with Pain and Palliative Care Service

  • Morning Report

  • Rounds with Pain and Palliative Care Fellow and/or Nurse

  • Assigned Patient Experience:

    Each student will be assigned to a single patient at MSKCC. During the week spent at MSKCC, the student will meet the patient and talk with him/her (and family, when appropriate) about his/her illness, review the medical record for the palliative care issues and treatment responses, and speak with attendings/fellows/nurses/ social workers, etc. about the patient.

    At the end of that week, the student will present this patient to the entire class and submit a write-up that addresses the palliative medicine management of that patient. These presentations will be made to an MSKCC Pain and Palliative Care Attending and all students must attend. The MSKCCC Attending will grade these papers and presentations and provide feedback at the session. The paper and presentation should include:

    1. The patient's medical history and physical, including psychosocial and narrative issues.

    2. Current palliative care issues.

    3. Diagnostic strategies to w/u pain and other complaints.

    4. In-depth discussion of treatment strategies used to address symptoms including drug choices and dosing strategies, delivery systems, side effects, cause of adjuvant treatments, psychotherapy, etc.

Clerkship Director
Ellen Meltzer, MD
Assistant Professor of Health Care Policy and Research
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Clerkship Director
Phone: 212-746-5856

Course Administrator
Cathleen Acres, RN, MA
Lecturer, Division of Medical Ethics

Pain and Palliative Care Service, MSKCC
Paul Glare MD, Chief of Service

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