Program Description

For students choosing to complete the Foundation of BEMH without an Application area, there is a minimum of 200 hours of work, divided into four components: required gateway courses for the foundation; 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 Gateway Courses

  • The Human Condition: Medicine, Arts and Humanities
  • Inquiry Methods in Biomedical Ethics

Time commitment: minimum 50 hours

Independent Study, Scholarly Work, and Research

To accomplish an independent project (required for all students in the foundation), students can enroll in directed reading with faculty, complete a Medical Scholars Research project, or do independent study outside of academic credit. Each student must discuss plans with his or her advisor.

Students may elect to do the investigative work during the preclinical years, such as autumn and winter quarters of their second year. Alternatively, an approved Medical Scholars Research project could be planned for the summer after the first year of medical school. 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 are expected to invest significant time on original research. Students doing four quarters of full-time research would need to extend their medical school years beyond four.
Time commitment: minimum 80 hours

Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities Meetings

Students in the concentration are expected to attend 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

Additional 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 8 units of additional 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 2 unit courses). Note that this is a minimum and students are encouraged to enroll in more coursework.

Time commitment:  60 hours