Curriculum Overview

Each year students participate in six to eight in-class seminars that develop and enhance their understanding on the general themes. In preparation for each session, students read scholarly articles and reports and work in small groups to interactively address issues. In the first-year students also prepare to begin a longitudinal rotation in local community or social service agencies/organizations that continues through the fourth-year of medical school. The goal of the rotation is to provide first-hand experience with community program design, implementation and evaluation.

UMed students take the same required courses as their classmates. Whenever possible, UMed students work together as formal groups. For example, in Essentials of Clinical Medicine (ECM), a two-year course sequence, UMed students stay together as “Working Groups” and collaborate on course components —Special Topics mini-courses, projects, service-learning opportunities, etc. — that complement the formal curricular sessions.

In the third year, UMed students participate in all required clerkships and are assigned to specific placements based on availability. They come together throughout the academic year to discuss cross-cultural clinical and other issues they encounter and reflect upon various approaches used at their individual assignment. In addition, UMed students are required to complete online modules surrounding policy and advocacy.

Fourth year UMed students complete the community rotation and are also encouraged to design electives to delve more deeply into cultural issues that impact medical care. UMed students also participate in a week-long Policy and Advocacy Forum.

Finally, UMed students are encouraged (but not required) to complete the Joint MD/MPH degree program. This option can be completed in five years. A student interested in the joint degree program should consult with the Office of Special Curricular Programs during the first semester in medical school. If admitted, the student begins course work the following summer.

The Urban Medicine Program provides its students with a curriculum presented in both in-person and online seminars. The curriculum is intended to function as a support for the student’s longitudinal community rotation project.

Seminar Details

Participation in 6-8 Seminars focused on:

  • Chicago community health disparities
  • Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)
  • Introduction to evaluation

Participation in 6-8 Seminars that delve deeper into issues presented in year one. Some topics include:

  • Evaluation of community projects
  • Health literacy
  • Grant writing

Participation in an Online Policy and Advocacy Course divided into seven total modules. Modules cover the following topics:

  • Module 1- Advocacy Basics
  • Module 2- The Legislative Process
  • Module 3- Working in Partnerships
  • Module 4- Working with Decision Makers
  • Module 5- Using the Media
  • Module 6- Elections and Advocacy
  • Module 7- Case Study

Participation in the the week-long UMed Policy and Advocacy Forum, diverse covering topics including:

  • Understanding health care systems
  • Special topics in maternal and child health
  • Behavioral health
  • Food systems