Medical School Courses

Faculty in all divisions of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research are involved in the teaching of medical students at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Evidence-Based Medicine: Prepares students to develop skills in clinical question framing, database searching and critically appraising the literature. Module in Medicine, Patients and Society I
Course Director: Madelon L. Finkel, PhD
Core Faculty: Keith LaScalea, MD; Nathaniel Hupert, MD, MPH; Anna Kaltsas, MD; Brandon Aden, MD, MPH; Helen-Ann Brown Epstein, MLS; Paul Albert, MLS; Diana Delgado, MLS; Pattie Mongelia, MLS

Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics: Presents the basic principles of epidemiology and biostatistics as they are applied to a variety of diseases in population groups. Course is designed to be introductory in scope and content. Uses lectures, practice questions and group seminars. Module in Medicine, Patients and Society I
Course Director: Madelon L. Finkel, PhD
Core Faculty: Paul Christos, DrPH, MS; Marty Lesser, PhD; Alvin I. Mushlin, MD, ScM; Cristina Sison, PhD; Phyllis Supino, EdD; Elena Elkin, PhD; Andrew Vickers, PhD; Nathaniel Hupert, MD, MPH; Brandon Aden, MD, MPH

Introduction to the U.S. Healthcare System: A second-year component of the Medicine, Patients and Society curriculum, this course consists of lectures and class discussions on current topics in health care policy and includes invited speakers from the health care industry.
Course Director: Bruce R. Schackman, PhD

Public Health and Community Medicine: A second-year course consisting of seminar sessions in various public health topic areas and field trip experiences. Topics covered include Hospital Health and Safety, Addictive Diseases, Population and Community Medicine, The Environment, Institutional Care, and Screening and Prevention.
Course Director: Lewis Drusin, MD, MPH
Core Faculty: Nathaniel Hupert, MD, MPH; Van Dunn, MD, MPH; Jacqueline Ehrlich, MD, Barbara Reissman, DrPH; Linda M. Gerber, PhD; Bartley Bryt, MD, MPH; Penny Stern, MD, MPH

Medical Ethics Medical School Courses

Medical Ethics: A component of Medicine, Patients and Society II. A six-week survey course in medical ethics for second year medical students. It includes topics such as Medical Ethics in the 20th Century: A Historical Overview; Capacity, Competence, Informed Consent and Refusal; Clinical Pragmatism as a Method of Moral Problem-Solving for Medicine; Decisions at the End of Life: Issues in the Hospital; Ethics in Reproductive Medicine; The Medical Marketplace: Access and Managed Care and Ethics in Pediatrics. This course mobilizes approximately 25 faculty members and hospital staff and constitutes an on-going in-service experience for tutors as well as students.
Course Director: Joseph J. Fins, MD
Core Faculty: Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, PhD, MS; Cathleen Acres, MA, BSN

Medicine, Patients and Society III: Also taught by the Division of Medical Ethics, this required third-year clerkship is designed to promote self-reflective practice and develop competencies in clinical ethics and end-of-life care. To develop their technical skills in pain and symptom management, students participate in palliative care rounds at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, attend case management problem solving seminars in palliative care, and make a site visit to observe hospice care.
Course Director: Joseph J. Fins, MD, Professor of Public Health, Chief, Division of Medical Ethics
Core Faculty: Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, PhD, MS; Cathleen Acres, MA, BSN

Public Health Clerkship in Health Care Systems: A two-week rotation for third and fourth year medical students focusing on U.S. health care policy. Lectures, seminars and field trip experiences with government, private and public managed care organizations and health plans are an important component of this clerkship. seminars focus on in-depth discussion of timely topics in health care policy.
Course Director: Madelon L. Finkel, PhD

Medical Ethics in Qatar

Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar: Pablo Rodríguez del Pozo, MD, JD, PhD, represents the Division of Medical Ethics in Qatar and in consultation with colleagues in New York, directs the Medical Ethics curriculum. Courses include Medical Ethics and Humanities, for second-year premedical students, and a course in palliative care (under development) for fouth-year medical students.


During the end-of-year Convocation and Commencement the Department awards cash prizes to outstanding graduating seniors. Established over a decade ago, these prizes serve to recognize students for their performance, efforts and genuine interest in the field of public health. The following prizes are named after individuals who have dedicated themselves to public service, academic medicine and the improvement of health care delivery:

The Elise Strang L'Esperance Prize in Public Health - Awarded to the female student who best reflects the attributes and values of Dr. L'Esperance, who served on the faculty of Cornell University Medical College for over forty years, and with her sister, May Strang, founded the Strang Cancer Prevention Clinics and The New York Infirmary in memory of their mother.

The George G. Reader Prize - Awarded to the graduating student showing the most promise in the field of public health. The award is named in honor of Dr. George G. Reader, who was chairman of the Department of Public Health from 1972 - 1992.

For more information on Public Health courses for medical students please contact:

Maritza Montalvo
Academic Programs


  • Chairman's Office
    402 East 67th Street
    New York, NY 10065
    (646) 962-9401
  • 425 East 61st Street
    New York, NY 10065
    (646) 962-9409

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