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Pandemic School of Medicine Course Elective

Last Updated: April 3, 2020


This is a School of Medicine course template packaged with resources and references and ready for implementation at most institutions. The course is intended for medical students who have completed a foundational introduction to systems improvement either through coursework, a certificate program, e.g. the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School, the American Medical Association Health Systems Science Learning Series, or other educational resource. It is recommended that students not yet exposed to this content complete a certificate program as an introductory week prior to initiating the course. The course is intended as both a capstone and as preparation of students for application of systems improvement methodology to the current COVID Pandemic. The course involves practical information analysis and synthesis to address urgent needs in times of system stress and need for rapid response. The ramifications of this global pandemic will likely be with us for years to come and our next generation of physicians must prepare to respond on day one of residencies. 

Each week of the course focuses on a specific aspect of the response to the pandemic: Week 1 focuses on systems responses; Week 2 focuses on ethics; Week 3 focuses on social determinants of health and health equity; and Week 4 focuses on global, population, and public health. Integrated into these 4 weeks are optional readings and suggested webinars that provide basic information on COVID itself including diagnosis, testing, and treatment. This National Center for Biotechnology Information coronavirus website collates information about COVID-19 mechanism, transmission, treatment, case reports and epidemic. Students use this resource to supplement their learning about COVID during this course. Each week includes self-directed learning, group projects, webinars, and assignments. Assigned small groups arrange student-led Zoom meetings. There is a longitudinal course assignment. 


Karen Segerson, M.D., University of Washington School of Medicine (kseger@uw.edu)
Amanda Kost, M.D. M.Ed., University of Washington School of Medicine