M.D. Program

Electives and Enrichment Programs

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine encourages its students to become involved in projects and programs that improve the health of communities and promote appreciation for the social role and responsibilities of practicing physicians.

For additional information about student clubs and organizations, visit Student Organizations (Einstein Umbrella).

Electives in Years 1 & 2

Medical Spanish Program

The large and still growing population of Spanish speaking persons in this nation, particularly in many of its largest cities, compels all US medical schools to provide future physicians with at least a basic level of competence in conversational Spanish. The Medical Spanish program at Einstein has been evolving over a period of more than 25 years, and is still changing to meet students’ needs. In the current program, students begin language classes in the first year and continue to practice and expand language-building skills throughout the second year. Classes are offered at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.


Medical Mandarin Program

There is a large and ever-growing population of Mandarin speaking persons in the Bronx as well as at several of Einstein’s clinical affiliates. To meet this need, Einstein offers a one-semester elective in Medical Mandarin. The student must have a conversational knowledge of the language since the 19-session course immerses immediately into medical terminology and interviewing techniques.


Implicit Bias Recognition and Management

Students who are interested in learning how to recognize and manage our implicit biases (the unintentional, unconscious assumptions we all make) in both clinical and nonclinical interactions should sign up for this course. Instructional strategies include interactive didactics, video review and discussion, role-playing with structured debrief, and instruction in delivering feedback to improve innovations.


Nutrition and Health: Patients and Populations

This elective provides students with an understanding of the USDA Dietary Guidelines, nutrition assessment and effectiveness of popular diets. Other topics include integration of motivational interviewing in discussions of nutrition & lifestyle issues with patients. Students also learn how to discuss the Nutrition Facts labels with patients with limited English literacy.


Cooking Healthily, Efficiently, and with Fresh Foods (CHEFF)

This elective is a six-session cooking course intended to help medical students become better and healthier cooks as well as give them the tools to help their patients create healthier lifestyles.


Quality Improvement 101: Using the Model for Improvement to Self-Improve

This three session elective will teach first-year medical students the Model for Improvement, which is the cornerstone of all quality improvement work. Students will use their own experiences and desire to self-improve as models to learn and understand the Model for Improvement and other quality improvement tools. Students will also plan a personal quality improvement project, collect data, carry out PDSA cycles and workshop ways to improve their own processes and systems. These skills will leave students better positioned to perform quality improvement throughout their careers as physicians and ensure they deliver high quality care to every patient, every time.


Current Topics in Biochemistry, Genetics, Pathology, and Pharmacology: A student-directed independent learning course

“Current Topics” is intended to encourage students to pursue topics of their interest and to share their findings and receive feedback from peers and selected faculty. Any topic involving science and medicine is possible, such as: precision medicine; drug development; cancer immunotherapy; the human-microbiome ecosystem in health and disease; and epigenetics.

Electives in Years 4

Einstein offers a comprehensive selection of fourth-year electives for its students as well as for visiting students. The listing includes a description of of the program and registration procedures.


Enrichment Programs

The Einstein Community Health Outreach (ECHO) is a free clinic staffed by Einstein student volunteers under the supervision of board-certified physicians specializing in Family Medicine or certified Family Nurse Practitioners. The ECHO Free Clinic provides high-quality, comprehensive health care to the uninsured population of the Bronx. ECHO embraces the spirit of volunteerism and service embodied in our health care professionals and student volunteers. The clinic is open on Saturdays throughout the year, and students at all levels of their medical education volunteer to assist in patient care.

For information about volunteer opportunities, please visit Einstein Community Health Outreach (ECHO).

The Community Based Service Learning Program (CBSL) oversees Einstein’s Community Action Network (CAN), a collaboration of Einstein medical students, faculty, and communities in the Bronx. Einstein CAN groups promote services and provide advocacy for vulnerable populations in the Bronx. We support our students who want to make a difference in the community by serving as a clearinghouse for information and opportunities, providing guidance, assisting with logistical issues, and offering training, workshops, and seminars to develop leadership and other skills necessary for community engagement.

For information about volunteer opportunities, please visit Community Based Service Learning (CBSL).

Social Medicine Course - Since 1998, students have planned and organized this annual winter-spring elective lecture series inviting speakers from Einstein and elsewhere to inform students about current issues in medical ethics, health economics, health policy and various other topics dealing with health and disease from a socio-economic perspective. Topics covered in the course have included: the practice of social medicine, correctional health, community-based clinics, the ethics of stem cell research, medical waste, drug policy in the US, no free lunch, healthcare for people with disabilities, the politics of abortion, gun violence, elder abuse, race/ethnicity and unequal treatment, refugee health, liberation medicine, and war as a public health problem. The lectures aim to encourage discussion and a sharing of ideas among those in attendance. The course welcomes student volunteers from all classes.

Healer’s Art Course - This annual winter elective planned especially for first-year students addresses the hidden crisis in medicine: the growing loss of meaning and commitment experienced by physicians nationwide under the stresses of today’s health care system. The Healer's Art is a process-based curriculum that enables the formation of a community of inquiry between students and faculty helping students perceive the personal and universal meaning in their daily experience of medicine. The course consists of five three-hour evening sessions spaced roughly two weeks apart, each divided into large-group presentations, small-group discussions, and exercises.

The Healer’s Art curriculum was designed by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., Director of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal, and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine.

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