Medicine, Patients and Society III

Canvas eLearning 

Course Overview

Medicine, Patients and Society III is a required two-week course at the end of 4th year. During this course, students will rotate at service sites at National Center for Cancer Research (NCCR) and Skilled Nursing Facility at Rumaillah hospital where they will be exposed to oncology, hematology, palliative care, geriatrics, rehabilitation and chronic care of patients. This course will have a special focus on improving competency in palliative care and end-of-life care and will help students to promote self-reflective and humanistic practice.

Course Objectives


  • To identify psychosocial and contextual factors that influence care Identify ethical and legal issues at the end of life.

  • To identify principles of pain and symptom management.

  • To apply knowledge of pain and symptom management in palliative care


  • To apply ethical principles to patient care.

  • To relieve pain and suffering through the application of palliative care skills.

  • To communicate in an effective and humanistic manner with patients and their families.
  • To envision models of patient advocacy.


  • To foster professionalism in the care of patients throughout the life cycle.

  • To assume responsibility for the development of competence in both the humanistic and scientific dimensions of patient care.
  • To appreciate the importance of respecting cultural diversity and differing patient values.

Student will participate as an observer on rotations, where they will observe patients and their families' responses to illness. Observe residents, nurses and attending’s for the ability to integrate the technical and humanistic dimensions of care. Students will not have direct patient care responsibilities.

Two students will be assigned to a single patient. The students will meet the patient and will talk with him/her (and family when appropriate) about their illness, review the medical record for the palliative care issues and treatment responses, and speak with the healthcare team and social workers about the patient. This clinical experience exposes the students to nearly every aspect of palliative and end of life care.

The curriculum also involves small group discussions, tutor sessions, topical seminars and student presentations. The student assessment is based on attendance and participation, floor activities, daily logs for two weeks and a final paper. The final grade is Pass/Fail.

Course Director: Pablo Rodriquez del Pozo, MD, JD, PhD

Staff Support: