SPEC 19
Exploring Healthcare Winter 2022

Class Details

Experience in a clinical environment is essential to exploring the health professions. Through this experiential learning course, students will clarify their understanding of the rewards and challenges of medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, allied health professions, or public health. Option A: Students will participate in a shadowing internship through a local Williams-facilitated placement or an independent placement in their location of choice. Students will observe clinical interactions and learn about healthcare delivery systems. Students will be introduced to key concepts related to patient interviewing and history taking, diagnosis, and medical decision making. Students will also be introduced to core concepts of population health and expand their perspective on the individual clinical interactions that they observe. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their healthcare experiences with a dual focus: from the perspective of the individual provider-patient relationship and within a systems-level context. Weekly didactic sessions will focus on the experiences and/or area of expertise of healthcare professionals in the Berkshires and/or nationally. These sessions will now be offered virtually so that on-site and off-site students can attend as well as to facilitate a broad range of speakers. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of patient-provider interactions and key factors affecting the health of individuals and communities. A final reflective paper is required. Option B: Should clinical internships not be possible, this course will transition to fully virtual. This alternative course format would not include shadowing but instead 2-3 didactic sessions per week with guest speakers from the health professions to cover a similar range of topics. There would also be a weekly discussion board. In lieu of a reflective paper, students would write a research paper on a relevant topic of their choice.
The Class: Format: internship
Limit: 40
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: 5- to 10-page paper; active participation
Prerequisites: open to current sophomores, juniors, and seniors
Enrollment Preferences: Brief application required Priority will also be given to juniors and seniors who have not previously taken the course
Materials/Lab Fee: none
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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