Academics

First Year Courses

Courses are organized by the quarter in which they are taught. Follow the links on each course name to obtain a brief description of the content.

The Human Body course is the first component of the Scientific Foundations of Medicine curriculum in Year 1. The Human Body course will provide you with a foundation in the structural organization of the body.  You will learn gross anatomy of the back, thorax, abdomen, pelvis, head and neck, and upper and lower limbs through large and small group teaching sessions, as well as cadaver dissection. Correlations with Radiology and Surgery are an integral part of the course and provide real world clinical context for the anatomic material.

Read more about our recently upgraded anatomy labs.

When: August 6, 2019- October 18, 2019

The course meets daily each morning, with dissection labs meeting in the afternoons.

Cadavers used in this course are generously donated to the Pritzker School of Medicine through the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois. For more information about this process, please visit their webpage: Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois. Following the course, the first-year class commemorates the lives of those who donated their bodies to the course during an annual Service of Gratitude. This year's service will take place on Friday, January 10, 2020.

This course gives students an overview of disparities that exist in health and health care in the United States across categories such as race, gender, social economic status, age, and sexual orientation.  The course includes lectures and small group sessions led by leaders in health care in Chicago and at the University, and culminates in a small group project that explores an aspect of health care disparities in detail.  Students also become better acquainted with Hyde Park and greater Chicago through visits to health care facilities and institutions throughout the area.

When: August 13, 2019 - October 10, 2019

The course meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings during the Autumn Quarter.

In the News

Students at Pritzker are required to complete a scholarly project by the time of graduation, focusing on one of five scholarly tracks. The Scholarship and Discovery thread is a four-year curriculum designed to facilitate the successful completion of this project.  Students will have the opportunity to learn about five different scholarship track areas, which are:

Students will also conduct a mentored project in one of these areas.  During the first year, students will participate in introductory courses including introduction to scholarship principles and skills (Summer quarter), epidemiology and biostatistics (Winter quarter), and elective courses in specific scholarly tracks (Spring quarter).  Students can choose to begin work with a mentor on their scholarly projects during the academic year or through a variety of elective summer experiences between Years 1 and 2, such as the NIH-sponsored Pritzker Summer Research Program.

Summer and Autumn Quarters focus on introduction to scholarship principles, skills, and learning about the tracks.
Winter Quarter focuses on epidemiology and research design.
Spring Quarter focuses on starting work on a mentored scholarly project or receiving advanced training in a track area.

Course Director: Dr. Vineet Arora

The Medical Cellular Biology & Genetics course is the second component of the Scientific Foundations of Medicine curriculum in Years 1 and 2. The course is co-taught by two faculty members: Dr. Darrel Waggoner and Dr.  Nikolai Dulin. The course covers these areas by using clinical cases to illuminate the material. Students become active participants in the learning process by working in small groups to unravel and understand the basic science behind these clinical cases.  The course includes the following topics: gene expression, signal transduction, cell cycle regulation, organization of cytoplasm, membrane traffic and cell motility, protein structure and function, energy production and utilization, and intermediary metabolism. Basic genetic concepts and the role of genes in disease processes and susceptibilities incidence and broad spectrum of human genetic disease, the importance of taking a family history, and the procedures used for diagnosing genetic diseases.

When: October 21, 2019-December 10, 2019

The course meets five mornings per week for lecture, small group discussion, and workshops.

Clinical Skills is the first communication course that introduces the basics of doctor-patient communication.  Students begin the process of learning to interview patients and also learn about such issues as health literacy.  In addition to lecture, there are small group meetings with attending physicians and housestaff, videotaped interactions with standardized patients, and direct clinical experience in outpatient and inpatient settings. 

When: This course meets on Thursday afternoons for lectures and interactive sessions.

Physician-Patient-Society-System (P2S2) is a curricular thread that has been implemented longitudinally across the entire four year Pritzker curriculum.  In the first year, P2S2 brings under one umbrella the content of courses including Health Care Disparities: Equity and Advocacy, Clinical Skills, Doctor-Patient Relationship, and Social Context of Medicine and the American Healthcare System.  Learning occurs in several environments, including lectures, small group work, outpatient clinical settings, and standardized patients in the Clinical Performance Center. 

The American Healthcare System The course is taught by Dr. Ram Krishnamoorthi.  The course covers topics including developing a basic understanding of the types of organizations in which physicians practice, the effects of race and class on people’s health and on the delivery of medical care, Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance, managed care, challenges facing hospitals, problems with cost quality, and access to care in the U.S.  Many sessions are given by lecturers who are nationally recognized experts in their field.

When: October 16, 2019 through December 11, 2019

Physician-Patient-Society-System (P2S2) is a curricular thread that has been implemented longitudinally across the entire four year Pritzker curriculum.  In the first year, P2S2 brings under one umbrella the content of courses including Health Care Disparities: Equity and Advocacy, Clinical Skills, Doctor-Patient Relationship, and Social Context of Medicine and the American Healthcare System.  Learning occurs in several environments, including lectures, small group work, outpatient clinical settings, and standardized patients in the Clinical Performance Center. 

The Longitudinal Program (LP) is the first longitudinal patient-care experience for students of the Pritzker School of Medicine. It is a required experience taking place from October to June of the MS1 year. 

Goals of the Longitudinal Program

To provide a clinical experience for pre-clinical medical students that provides the opportunity to identify and understand the roles of the various providers who impact patient care, observe and participate in the care of patients within the students’ scope of practice, specifically focusing on communication-based skills and assumption of the professional behaviors of a physician, practice history-taking and physical examination skills, and experience the healthcare system through the eyes of a patient.

Required Components of the LP

  - Introductory workshop

  - Clinical Observation Sessions (6)

  -  Geriatric Home Visit + reflective essay

  - Final reflective essay on your Longitudinal Program experience

Physician-Patient-Society-System (P2S2) is a curricular thread that has been implemented longitudinally across the entire four year Pritzker curriculum.  In the first year, P2S2 brings under one umbrella the content of courses including Health Care Disparities: Equity and Advocacy, Clinical Skills, Doctor-Patient Relationship, and Social Context of Medicine and the American Healthcare System.  Learning occurs in several environments, including lectures, small group work, outpatient clinical settings, and standardized patients in the Clinical Performance Center. 

Funding for Longitudinal Program Travel

The Cell and Organ Physiology course is the third component of the Scientific Foundations of Medicine curriculum in Years 1 and 2.  The course is co-taught by two faculty members: Dr. David Beiser and Dr. Benjamin Ko.

When: January 6, 2020– March 20, 2020 It integrates basic cell physiology with organ-based physiology and histology, providing a comprehensive understanding of structure/function relationships in human physiology. The course covers cell and membrane physiology, as well as physiology and histology of the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, kidney, and reproductive systems.  Lectures and small group sessions are supplemented by trips to cardiovascular and pulmonary laboratories and other clinical correlations.

The course meets five mornings per week for lecture and lab sessions.

Students at Pritzker are required to complete a scholarly project by the time of graduation, focusing on one of five scholarly tracks. The Scholarship and Discovery thread is a four-year curriculum designed to facilitate the successful completion of this project.  Students will have the opportunity to learn about five different scholarship track areas, which are:

Students will also conduct a mentored project in one of these areas.  During the first year, students will participate in introductory courses including introduction to scholarship principles and skills (Summer quarter), epidemiology and biostatistics (Winter quarter), and elective courses in specific scholarly tracks (Spring quarter).  Students can choose to begin work with a mentor on their scholarly projects during the academic year or through a variety of elective summer experiences between Years 1 and 2, such as the NIH-sponsored Pritzker Summer Research Program.

Summer and Autumn Quarters focus on introduction to scholarship principles, skills, and learning about the tracks.
Winter Quarter focuses on epidemiology and research design.
Spring Quarter focuses on starting work on a mentored scholarly project or receiving advanced training in a track area.

Course Director: Dr. Vineet Arora

The continuation of Clinical Skills 1A in which students learn to take vital signs, and perform the heart, lung, abdominal, breast and neurological exams, and pulses.  Students will learn how to put the exam together and will perform an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).  Direct clinical experience in outpatient and inpatient settings continue.

When: This course meets Thursday afternoons for lecture and interactive sessions during the Winter Quarter.

P2S2 is a curricular thread that has been implemented longitudinally across the entire four year Pritzker curriculum.  In the first year, P2S2 brings under one umbrella the content of courses including Health Care Disparities: Equity and Advocacy, Clinical Skills, Doctor-Patient Relationship, and Social Context of Medicine and the American Healthcare System.  Learning occurs in several environments, including lectures, small group work, outpatient clinical settings, and standardized patients in the Clinical Performance Center.

Doctor-Patient Relationship provides an introduction to the importance of the doctor-patient relationship to the process of ethical decision making.  The course is taught by Dr. Mark Siegler, Dr. Peter Angelos and Dr. Andrew Aronsohn.  The topics of informed consent, assessment of patient competence, truth telling, confidentiality, and end-of-life decisions, religion, spirituality, and law are examined in several clinical contexts such as acute care, pediatrics, geriatrics, and rehabilitation medicine.  Small group sessions following lecture provide a chance for in-depth discussion.

When: This course meeting Tuesday afternoons for lectures and small group discussions.

P2S2 is a curricular thread that has been implemented longitudinally across the entire four year Pritzker curriculum.  In the first year, P2S2 brings under one umbrella the content of courses including Health Care Disparities: Equity and Advocacy, Clinical Skills, Doctor-Patient Relationship, and Social Context of Medicine and the American Healthcare System.  Learning occurs in several environments, including lectures, small group work, outpatient clinical settings, and standardized patients in the Clinical Performance Center. 

This course provides an introduction to the pathogenesis of human disease from both a mechanistic and research standpoint. The course is taught by Dr. Nicole Cipriani and Dr. Kammi Henriksen.  The goals of the course are to help students understand the basic mechanism in the pathogenesis of human disease and to learn about basic research investigating human disease. The course meets daily and includes lectures, journal clubs, a clinical pathological correlation (CPC) session and laboratories that address case studies, clinical and biochemical data, and histology.

When: March 30, 2020 – June 12, 2020

This course meets for lecture and lab sessions each morning.

This class provides an overview of the clinically important microorganisms and their roles in infectious diseases.  The objectives of the course are to discuss mechanism of microbial pathogenicity important in disease production, provide knowledge of the common organisms associated with specific infectious diseases as foundation for system (organ)-based approach to diagnosis, describe the interactions between the clinician and the clinical laboratory that are important for diagnosing infectious diseases.

When: March 30, 2020 - June 12, 2020

This course meets for lecture and lab sessions each morning.

Clinical Skills 1C helps students continue to develop their medical interviewing skills. Students will also learn how to do a written history, as well as an oral presentation of a medical history.  Direct clinical experience in outpatient and inpatient settings continue.

P2S2 is a new curricular thread that will be implemented longitudinally across the entire four year Pritzker curriculum.  In the first year, P2S2 brings under one umbrella the content of courses including Health Care Disparities: Equity and Advocacy, Clinical Skills, Doctor-Patient Relationship, and Social Context of Medicine and the American Healthcare System.  Learning occurs in several environments, including lectures, small group work, outpatient clinical settings, and standardized patients in the Clinical Performance Center

Students at Pritzker are required to complete a scholarly project by the time of graduation, focusing on one of five scholarly tracks. The Scholarship and Discovery thread is a four-year curriculum designed to facilitate the successful completion of this project.  Students will have the opportunity to learn about five different scholarship track areas, which are:

Students will also conduct a mentored project in one of these areas.  During the first year, students will participate in introductory courses including introduction to scholarship principles and skills (Summer quarter), epidemiology and biostatistics (Winter quarter), and elective courses in specific scholarly tracks (Spring quarter).  Students can choose to begin work with a mentor on their scholarly projects during the academic year or through a variety of elective summer experiences between Years 1 and 2, such as the NIH-sponsored Pritzker Summer Research Program.

Summer and Autumn Quarters focus on introduction to scholarship principles, skills, and learning about the tracks.
Winter Quarter focuses on epidemiology and research design.
Spring Quarter focuses on starting work on a mentored scholarly project or receiving advanced training in a track area.

Course Director: Dr. Vineet Arora

First Year Spring Elective Requirement

100 units of elective credit is required in the spring quarter of the first year of medical studies. To fulfill this requirement, students can select elective courses and/or the option of a faculty sponsored independent study. To fulfill the requirements of Scholarship & Discovery, first year students will either need to take a Scholarship & Discovery track elective or complete the Summer Research preparatory requirement. 

Additionally, students who participate in the Summer Research Program will apply 50 units gained from their preparatory requirement towards the spring elective requirement. This will fulfill the Scholarship & Discovery requirement.

For every 50 credits that students elect to take, they should anticipate spending a minimum of 5 hours per week on that elective. Students may take more than 100 credits. All courses are graded Pass/Fail.

Elective courses may be taken outside of the BSD for a Pass/Fail grade with instructor approval.

Frequently Asked Questions

Elective Courses

In early March, first year students will receive a link to an online registration system for spring elective courses. Any course that is not in the registration list or is marked 'Consent Only' in its description can be added by sending a email confirming the course number, course title, and the consent from the department or the faculty offering the course.  The consent must be returned to Maureen Okonski

2020 Deadline to add an elective: Monday, March 23, 2020.

Readings, Research, and Independent Study Preceptorships

First year students may also fulfill their spring elective requirement by taking a Readings, Research course, and/or an Independent Study preceptorship. Students need to locate and make project arrangements directly with a sponsoring faculty member.

To register for Readings, Research, and/or Independent Study courses please use the Preceptorship/Independent Study Proposal. The proposal form needs to be confirmed by the sponsoring faculty member via email to Maureen Okonski. A comprehensive description of the research or project needs to included in order for it to be evaluated. The proposal will then be reviewed to determine the number of units it will receive. Please allow a week for review.  Results will be communicated via email.

Courses in Another Division

  • Go to http://registrar.uchicago.edu/classes to browse courses in other divisions. 
  • While students are able to take courses in another division, either an email confirmation from the instructor or an add/drop form signed by the instructor will be needed to be brought to Maureen Okonski, BSLC 104Q, to have the course count towards the Spring Elective Requirement.   
  • Please check with the division offering the course to ensure the course is open to students outside their division. Please be aware that many courses have time requirements that are not conducive to your Pritzker schedule.
  • Registering for business school courses: Chicago Booth School of Business.  This is an updated resource for Non-Booth students taking Booth courses: the newly-revised and updated FAQ section of our website: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/taking-courses-at-booth/faq. The FAQ has been updated and expanded to include answers to the most commonly-asked questions from Non-Booth students about taking courses at Booth and now includes sections on prerequisites and faculty permission, registration, and access to online materials, as well as sections specifically for graduating students.  Questions can be sent to:   Sarah.Arehart@chicagobooth.edu