Elective Courses - Years 1-4

Below is a list of the elective courses offered for first through fourth year medical students. There is no requirement to take any elective courses. These optional courses are offered to provide support throughout medical school and the journey into the field of health care. To enroll in an elective course, please fill out the add/drop form and submit it to the registrar.

COM 903
Being a Leader

Given the complex and demanding environment of healthcare, effective leadership is often required to meet these challenges. This course is designed to provide you with tools to give you access to being who you need to be, to be a leader, and to exercise leadership effectively as you encounter each of these challenges. In the course we will inquire into the meaning and being of leader and leadership in order to empower each of us to be leaders in our lives, communities, and societies. It is not an academic inquiry into theories, models, and case studies about leadership. The promise of this course is that, if you participate fully, you will leave the course being a leader and exercising leadership effectively as your natural self-expression. During the course your current conventional thoughts will be challenged, new ways of thinking will emerge, and you will leave with new actions to create even greater success in the areas of life and leadership than matter most to you.

This 2 credit course is offered in the Fall Semester, one evening a week (typically Tuesdays 5:30pm – 8:00pm). Exams are narrative in nature. Each student will also complete a Leadership project as part of the course work. This includes a proposal, a paper about and a presentation for their fellow students. The topic of the project can be anything from school, academics, community, other important parts of the students’ life, relationships, etc.

For more information, contact the course director Dr. Louise Glaser at louise.glaser@cnsu.edu.

COM 904
Healer’s Art

The Healers Art is an elective course started at UCSF in 1991 that has been offered in over 100 medical schools since that time with ongoing courses at most of these schools. It has often been described by many medical students who participate as one of their best and most useful experiences in all of medical school. The course is given as 5 three hour sessions consisting of both large and small group discussions and designed for MS1 and MS2 students. It uses the discovery model of learning with topics related to professionalism including values of service, healing relationship, reverence for life and compassionate care. More information about the course including research studies are available on the national website: Healer's Art Overview

Please use the paper add/drop form to register. For more information please contact the course director Dr. Rochelle Frank at rochelle.frank@cnsu.edu.

COM 905
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

The MBSR elective course (mindfulness-based stress reduction) is modeled after the MBSR program created by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts. As described by Dr. Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is “paying attention on purpose” and remaining in the present in a nonjudgmental way. Research has shown that participation in an MBSR course can lead to reductions in chronic pain, anxiety, depression, headaches and improve quality of life and prevent fatigue and burnout in both physicians and medical students. Mindfulness-based training is currently offered in to up 80% of US medical schools.

By participating in this MBSR course, students will be introduced to the idea of mindfulness as a tool to improve their lives as a future physicians as well as a knowledge base that can be shared with future colleagues and patients who may benefit from the program. This elective consists of an hour-long orientation session followed by weekly 2 hour sessions for 8 weeks. Each session will include a formal 30-45 minute meditation practice as well as other mindfulness exercises and facilitated group discussions, including a discussion of research articles on the topic of mindfulness. This course will be offered in the Fall Semester (typically Oct-Dec, Thursdays from 5:15-7:15pm) and Spring Semester (typically March-May, Thursdays from 5:15-7:15pm).

For more information, contact the course director Dr. Valerie Gerriets at valerie.gerriets@cnsu.edu.