The minimum of 200 hours of work in the BEMH scholarly concentration is divided into four components: required gateway courses for the concentration; independent study, scholarly work and research; bioethics and medical humanities meetings; and elective courses. The minimum time commitment for each of these components is listed below. 

Required Courses

Three gateway courses are required. Ideally, these are taken during the first year. These courses are open to all students, not just students interested in the scholarly concentration.

  • Med 255.  Responsible Conduct of Research (1 unit) Course Director: [staff] Winter Quarter, Thursday 5:30-6:30
  • New Course: The Human Condition (2 units)  Course Director: Larry Zaroff, MD, PhD email: Spring Quarter, Thurs 2:15-4:05
  • New Course: Biomedical Ethics (2 units) Course Director: David Magnus, PhD Spring Quarter, [tentative schedule: Wednesday afternoon]

Total time commitment for required gateway courses: 50

Independent Study, Scholarly Work and Research

To accomplish an independent project (required for all students in the concentration), students can enroll in directed reading with faculty, complete a medical scholars project, or do independent study outside of academic credit. Each student must discuss plans with his or her advisor. A student in the investigative option may elect to do this work during the preclinical years, such as autumn and winter quarters of their second year.

Alternatively, an approved Medical Scholars project could be planned for the summer after the first year of medical school, and the student could still complete the investigative option scholarly concentration requirements and medical school in four years. Scholarly work can also be done in the clinical years during periods without clerkships, if compatible with graduation plans (as approved by a dean or advisor).

All students in the Original Research program are expected to invest significant time commitments for their projects and these students would need to extend their medical school years beyond four.

Time commitment: variable, minimum 80 hours for investigative option

Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities Meetings

Students in the concentration are expected to attend bioethics grand rounds, the Jonathan King Lecture, the Medicine and the Muse Symposium and other similar events. In addition, meetings and seminars of students and faculty in the concentration will occur to enable student presentation of work in an informal setting.

Time commitment: 10 hours

Elective Courses

Each student must review the course selection with his or her advisor. Each student’s course pathway is individualized according to his or her interests. Students are encouraged to take elective courses related to their field of independent study in order to improve the depth of understanding in that field.

Students must take a minimum of 6 units of elective coursework in addition to directed reading or other independent study courses. These units can be divided in multiple courses (such as one 4 unit and two 1 unit courses). Note that this is a minimum and students are encouraged to enroll in more coursework, particularly if the original research option is chosen. Furthermore, methodology coursework will be necessary for most students in the original research option.