Preprofessional Studies Courses

For specific questions regarding preprofessional course offerings, please contact the Center for Health Sciences Advising or consult the Undergraduate Bulletin of Information 2015-2016.

SCPP 23100. Interdisciplinary Science Seminar

(1-0-1) Gursky
This course objective for this seminar is to provide an opportunity for students to interact with community leaders and top interdisciplinary faculty members throughout the University who will describe how their research or work impacts
biomedical research. Students typically do not have much interaction with faculty outside their home department. They may not be aware that many faculty members from diverse departments such as physics, math, and engineering are making important advancements in the biomedical field. This seminar would expose the students to different career opportunities, provide them with the opportunity for faculty interactions they would otherwise not have, and give them a better understanding of the most current and significant advances in the field. For interdisciplinary science students in particular, a broader understanding of the biomedical field is helpful in interviews for professional schools.

SCPP 30300. Introduction to Clinical Ethics

The focus of the course will be an examination of the advances in medicine over the last 30 years that have challenged traditional values and ethical norms, and the institutional processes and procedures in place that facilitate decision-making in the health care setting. It will include a sketch of the most recent advances in the various fields of medicine, followed by an examination of the clinical and ethical
questions they raise and how they have affected the physician-patient relationship. Note: This course counts as a general elective. Fall and spring.

SCPP 30311. Introduction to the American Health Care System

(3-0-3) Navari
The course will begin with a short history of the American health care system and will be followed by a discussion of the major components of the system (patients, providers, payers), health insurance coverage, managed care programs, the movement for quality health care, physicians in the changing medical marketplace, health care expenditures, and academic medical centers. This course counts as a general elective. Fall.

SCPP 30320. Film and the Physician—Portrayals of Medicine in Film and the Arts

(3-0-3) Kolberg
This course will examine the representation of medicine in film, still art and texts. The point of view will be to examine the interdisciplinary arts, primarily film plus secondary readings of literary texts, with the goal of broadening the understanding of the lives of patients, families and providers for future health care professionals, particularly physicians. The goal is to heighten the awareness of the world surrounding medical encounters and encourage an open-minded approach to people in medical need. Based on Cinemeducation training in medical schools and residency programs, topics examined include delivering bad news, end of life
issues, medical malpractice, family dynamics, professionalism, cultural diversity, gender issues, grief, balance of professional and personal life and medical errors.
Film clips will be introduced and reviewed with specific discussion points. Strong emphasis will be placed on group discussion, with four short papers, one discussion
lead and a final paper.

SCPP 30401. Medical Counseling Skills and Patient-Centered Medicine

(3-0-3) Vachon
This course is designed to provide an overview and introductory practical training in medical counseling skills and patient-centered medicine. It is designed specifically for undergraduates interested in careers in medicine, but can also be helpful for students aspiring to other helping professions. This course will provide a theoretical and evidence-based foundation in compassionate care and communication skills for patient care. Emphasis will be placed on clear and professional communication across a wide range of patient care situations. This 3-credit-hour class with limited enrollment will provide opportunities to practice these skills through practical classroom training, outside assignments, and an introduction to the field of Caring Science as it applies to the medical professions.

SCPP 30405. Compassionate Care and the Medical Professions

(3-0-3) Vachon
This course is designed to provide the theoretical and practical foundation to providing compassionate care in the medical professions. It will provide an introduction to the field of Caring Science and provide the behavioral and attitudinal components to providing effective patient care as well as teaching how practitioners can be balanced in providing patient care. Topics include Caring Science theory, clinician burnout, compassion fatigue, maintaining caring in the encounter with suffering, and physician self-care. While designed specifically for the future medical professional, the course is as open as enrollment allows to students in allied helping professions. Class material will include research from medical, psychological, caring science, business, and spiritual sources.

SCPP 30406. Spiritualities of Caring in the Helping Professions 


This 3 credit hour seminar course is designed to explore how helping professionals articulate, cultivate, and rely on their spirituality of caring as they participate in God's healing of those they set out to help. Pivoting on the 2 greatest commandments, love of God and love of neighbor, we will examine how helping professionals conceive their healing work as connected to God grounded in explicit and implicit theologies of healing and suffering. Then we will study how helping professionals rely on a spirituality of caring in order to help them maintain and cultivate their compassion in their work in the face of suffering and the problem of evil. An overall model for a spirituality/philosophy of caring will be presented and then explored as it is exemplified in various spiritual and philosophical traditions. The course is not intended to be an exhaustive survey of all spiritual traditions, but as an introductory opportunity for the student to understand the role of spirituality in helping work and to begin to articulate their own spirituality of caring in preparation for helping professions. The course is designed especially for the preprofessional student as well as anyone who is preparing for work in a helping profession. We will rely on readings from Catholic spirituality and theology, other Christian denominations, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism as well as other traditions and philosophies, and also will examine writings by people who have reflected on the practical aspects of living out a spirituality of caring. 

30632. Policy, Values, and Practices in STEM Education


Science education occupies a unique position among the school-based disciplines. Across many sectors, the perceived role of science education is to prepare students to enter into and succeed in scientific fields. It is argued that if an advanced economy, like the United States, wishes to maintain its economic relevance, than each generation must be prepared to engage in scientific and technological innovation and that school science is responsible in fulfilling this obligation. But only approximately 5% of all occupations are STEM related what happens to the 95% of students who wish not to pursue STEM careers? What are the needs of an educated citizen in today's society? Although most goals for science education focus on the development of students understanding of the material world, this focus on canonical science often presents the discipline as a rhetoric of conclusions rather than a messy, complex, highly creative, and tentative enterprise. The consequence has been that many students are alienated from science, thus undermining one of the fundamental aims of science education. This course explores the complex and contested terrain of policy and practice in science education by focusing on four major themes: 1) The nature of science and the nature of school science; 2) Policies surrounding science curriculum; 3) The practice of science education; and 4) New approaches to science education. 

SCPP 40001. Preparing for Health Professions

(1-0-1) Foster
This course will prepare students to apply to health professions graduate programs. Topics covered will include how to write a personal statement, framing your experiences, preparing for interviews and specifics about the centralized applications. We will also have panel discussions regarding the balance of personal and professional life, the meaning of professionalism, hot topics in healthcare and a look at the way medicine is portrayed in the arts. Satisfactory performance will require completion of Concourse quizzes, written reflections in the form of questionnaires, written organization of experiences and a draft of the personal statement. This course should be taken the semester preceding application.

SCPP 43531. Psychology and Medicine


This course has two basic objectives. First, it examines from a lifespan and psychobiological perspective the factors that place individuals at different stages of life at risk for illness and assist them in maintaining their health. In addition, it addresses a variety of challenging psychological and social issues that physicians and other healthcare professionals must face in the practice of medicine. The course covers a range of topics dealing with health issues related to different stages of human development (childhood, adolescence, and adulthood), disabled populations, culture and gender, stress, physician-patient interactions, death and dying, professional ethics, and social policies relating to health care. The course is primarily intended for students intending to enter medical school. Most classes will involve brief formal presentations by the instructors and invited guests, followed by discussion of assigned readings pertinent to the day's topic. In addition, students will be exposed, via a limited practicum, to a variety of medical settings. 

SCPP 46397. Directed Readings

Permission required. Readings focus on learning how patients, families, and healthcare professionals experience illness and healing, how the stories that patients tell become the basis for diagnosis and therapeutic response, what it’s like to go through medical training and grow in identity as a physician, and the nature of the doctor-patient relationship and how it is changing. Fall and spring. Note: This course counts as a general elective.