Course Descriptions

FUNDAMENTALS COURSES

Clinical Gross Anatomy (1st Semester)
The goal of Clinical Gross Anatomy is for student physicians to acquire the knowledge and language of Anatomy necessary to practice medicine and facilitate discussion of problems and medical findings between colleagues. Anatomy is taught using different modalities that emphasize concepts, not memorization of facts, as well as an appreciation of the association between structure and function. In this course you will encounter your first patient and work as part of your first professional team. Examination of your patient by the process of dissection will be your primary learning resource.
 
Structures will be identified based on characteristics such as their source, target, attachments and/or relationship with other structures, not by rote. Teams of four students will actively learn Anatomy through dissection, discussion of clinical cases, palpation, and examination of prosected materials, radiographs and cross-sectional images. Anatomy faculty will both give lectures designed to emphasize concepts, structure and function and be present in the laboratory to give individualized assistance in the performing and understanding of the day's dissection. 
Clinicians will be involved both in and out of the dissection laboratory and reinforce Anatomy through Radiology, Surgery and clinical procedures. By the end of the course, student physicians will be empowered to analyze, synthesize and apply clinically relevant anatomical information to the development of a clinical diagnosis essential for good patient care.
 
Dr. Paulette Bernd
Course Director
Office: P&S 14-426A
Email: pb106@columbia.edu
 
Sarita Martinez
Course Coordinator
Office: Hammer Health Sciences 2-201
Email: sm2951@columbia.edu
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Foundations of Clinical Medicine I (1st Semester)
The Foundations of Clinical Medicine course introduces students to essential aspects of effective and compassionate care from the very first days of medical school. Through lectures, small group seminars, and clinical experiences, the course emphasizes the knowledge, skills, and attitudes physicians need to build therapeutic and effective relationships with patients and with their colleagues, and to appreciate the context in which care is delivered. With an emphasis on professionalism and ethical behavior in clinical practice, the course also assists students in using writing and reflection to recognize their role as clinicians and advocates.

Foundations of Clinical Medicine I (Foundations I) marks the beginning of a longitudinal course that introduces students to patients in the classroom and in the clinical setting. We begin with fundamental rapport-building and interviewing techniques, and consider the many factors that may impact on effective communication and clinical care.

Throughout of the course, students are expected to provide and receive constructive feedback to and from their colleagues as part of the teaching and teamwork that are fundamental to effective clinical care and to sustained satisfaction within the profession of medicine.

Foundations I Course Content:
Patient-physician relationship
Professional role
Medical ethics and values

Dr. Delphine Taylor
Co-Course Director, Foundations I, II, and III (Seminars)
Office: Hammer Health Sciences 2-201

Dr. Michael J. Devlin
Associate Course Director
Office: 1051 Riverside Dr., Unit 116
Email: mjd5@columbia.edu
 

Stephanie Jala

Course Coordinator
Office: Hammer Health Sciences 2-201

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Molecular Mechanisms & Disease (1st Semester)
In Molecular Mechanisms, students begin to learn about the processes that generate, regulate, and conversely damage the various cell types that make up the organs of our body. The emphasis will be on the common elements that are shared by different organs - first the cells, then their aggregates, the “tissues”, and finally how they come together to form the various organs of the body. In subsequent courses students apply these principles to specific organs.

The course is composed of five units. The first, Biomolecules and Cells, is focused on the components of a stereotypical cell, including its chemical components, some of its critical metabolic pathways, and its subcellular compartments, the organelles and their membranes. The second section, Healthy and Diseased Tissues, focuses on the “tissues”, which are populations of cells of similar types that form communities by using cellular adhesion or other coupling mechanisms. This section rapidly turns to what happens when a tissue expresses a disease. The next section, Basic Pharmacology, apply knowledge learned in the first two sections to more complex situations including the mechanisms of drug delivery to tissues and the mechanisms by which the drugs interact with the tissues’ signal transduction mechanisms. The fourth section, Basic Developmental Biology, starts at the beginning from ES cells and describes cell to cell signaling mechanisms that generate the body plan and its tissues. These mechanisms focus on the earliest events in tissue identity starting with early embryonic development. The fifth and final section, Basic Genomics, is focused on the basic architecture of the genome, the mechanisms of disease related to mutations, translocations, copy number variations, and aspects of gene therapy.

Each section of the course will be highlighted by frequent small groups that include problem solving sessions, histological and pathological laboratories, and a journal club, where students debate the meaning of data in classical articles. Lastly, patients will be presented whose life stories illustrate a cellular process under discussion.

Dr. Jonathan Barasch
Course Director
Email: jmb4@columbia.edu

 

Kristopher Kolish
Course Coordinator
Email: kpk2116@columbia.edu

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The Body: In Health & In Disease (2nd Semester)
The Body: In Health and In Disease I begins in January of first year and continues until June of the first year. This is a multidisciplinary course, which incorporates aspects of embryology, histology, pathology, pathophysiology and therapeutics.

The goals of the course are to help students gain a working understanding of:

  • normal organ development, structure and function
  • changes in organ structure and function with disease processes
  • approaches to therapy including use of pharmaceutical agents

The course will also provide opportunity for students to demonstrate, in preparation for the major clinical year, the ability to work collaboratively, to apply their knowledge and solve clinical problems. Instructional methods include lectures to provide the core knowledge, case based small group discussions, team-based learning exercises, and independent readings. The course structure and content is closely related to the curriculum of the concurrent courses, Foundations in Clinical Medicine and Psychiatric Medicine.

The course has ten sections taught over the spring and fall of your second and third semesters of enrollment:

  • Microbiology/Infectious Diseases
  • Basic Immunology
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Pulmonary system
  • Renal/Urinary tract
  • Endocrinology/Reproduction
  • Neurosciences
  • GI tract/Liver
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Rheumatology/Musculoskeletal
Dr. Thomas Garrett
Course Director
Office: Hammer Health Sciences 2-201
Elizabeth Carroll
Course Coordinator
Office: Hammer Health Sciences 2-201

Foundations of Clinical Medicine II (2nd Semester)
In Foundations II, students begin working in Tutorial groups where they learn to perform an advanced medical interview and a complete
physical examination with actual patients. At the same time, Foundations II lectures and seminars explore patient care beyond the doctor-patient

relationship through an exploration of health systems and health promotion. Students participate in Narrative Medicine seminars in order to enhance their ability to receive, comprehend, and represent the stories of illness and suffering.

Throughout the course, students are expected to provide and receive constructive feedback to and from their colleagues as part of the teaching and teamwork that are fundamental to effective clinical care and to sustained satisfaction within the profession of medicine.

Foundations II Course Content:

  • Tutorials (physical examination, advanced medical interview, case write-ups, clinical reasoning and case presentations, professional role)
  • Health systems
  • Health promotion/Behavior change
  • Narrative Medicine seminars
  • Medical ethics and values

 

Delphine Taylor, M.D.
Co-Course Director, Foundations I, II, and III
Office: Hammer 2-201
Email: dst4@columbia.edu
Deepthiman Gowda, M.D., M.P.H.
Co-Course Director, Foundations II, III
Office: Hammer 2-201
Email: dg381@columbia.edu
Michael Devlin, M.D.
Associate Course Director, Foundations I, II, and III
Office: 1051 Riverside Dr., Unit 116
Email: mjd5@columbia.edu
Mary Johanna Fink, M.D.
Associate Course Director, Foundations II, III
Office: Hammer 2-201
Email: mjf2103@columbia.edu
Stephanie Jala
Course Coordinator - FCM I, II, III - Seminars
Office: Hammer 2-201
Email: sj2692@columbia.edu
Eva Saavedra
Course Coordinator - FCM II, III - Tutorials
Office: Hammer 2-201
Email: ems2216@columbia.edu
 

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Psychiatric Medicine (2nd Semester)

The course consists of lectures and small groups for discussion and interviewing patients. The concepts of depression and psychosis will be introduced, and the major psychiatric syndromes will be covered, including Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, and Personality Disorders. Normal child and adult psychological development will also be presented. Principles of psychiatric treatment will be introduced. Psychiatric patients will be interviewed in small groups.

Dr. Janis Cutler
Course Director
Office: PI 1st Floor, 1303-E
Email: cutlerj@nyspi.columbia.edu

Edith White
Course Coordinator
Office: PI 1st Floor, 1303-E
Email: ew41@columbia.edu

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The Body: In Health and In Disease II (3rd Semester)

The Body: In Health and In Disease II begins in August of second year and continues until December of the second year. This is a multidisciplinary course, which incorporates aspects of embryology, histology, pathology, pathophysiology, and therapeutics.

The goals of the course are to help students gain a working understanding of:

  • Normal organ development, structure, and function
  • Changes in organ structure and function with disease processes
  • Approaches to therapy including use of pharmaceutical agents

The course will also provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate, in preparation for the major clinical year, the ability to work collaboratively, to apply their knowledge, and to solve clinical problems.

Instructional methods include lectures to provide the core knowledge, case-based small group discussions, team-based learning exercises, and independent readings.

The course structure and content are closely related to the curriculum of the concurrent courses, Foundations in Clinical Medicine and Psychiatric Medicine.

Thomas Garrett
Course Director
Office: Hammer 2-201
Email: tjg1@columbia.edu

Elizabeth Carroll
Course Coordinator
Office: Hammer 2-201
Email:  ec11@columbia.edu

 

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Foundations of Clinical Medicine III (3rd Semester)
Foundations III furthers preparation for the Major Clinical Year. Students in tutorials continue to interview and examine patients, integrating their understanding of mechanisms and pathology as they implement clinical reasoning to produce effective written and oral case presentations. In both lectures and seminars, students learn clinical epidemiology and focus on the skills and attitudes important to care for patients in particularly challenging environments.

Throughout the course, students are expected to provide constructive feedback to and receive constructive feedback from their colleagues as part of the teaching and teamwork that are fundamental to effective clinical care and to sustained satisfaction within the profession of medicine.

Foundations III Course Content:
  • Tutorials (physical examination, advanced medical interview, case write-ups, clinical reasoning and case presentations, professional role)
  • Advanced medical encounters (substance abuse, end-of-life, domestic violence)
  • Evidence-based medicine / epidemiology
 

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