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. Many of Einstein's students become regional and national leaders in organizations such as the American Medical Students Association, Medical Students' Section of the American Medical Association, Students National Medical Association, Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association and Boricua Health Organization. It is under the umbrella of these and other student organizations that a large number of Einstein's students participate in the Hepatitis B Vaccination Program, the Children's Health Insurance Program, the Students Teaching AIDS to Students program and many other activities that enable students to acquire knowledge and skills in community health care through direct experiences. Einstein provides funding for a substantial number of students to attend conferences sponsored by student organizations, and it also provides whatever support is necessary to assure successful implementation of student-run community service programs.

For additional information about community service projects, see 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 this and medical schools across the land 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.

In the summer between first and second year, about 25 students receive funding to participate in Spanish language programs in Central America and Mexico.


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 sites. To meet this need, and at the urging of a second year student, Einstein recently began offering 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.


Health Disparities: Awareness to Action

This elective, offered in the spring, enables students to define health disparities, describe the social determinants of health, including the impact of bias on medical decision making, and identify strategies for physicians to advocate for patients in the community.  Students gain experience in planning and organizing advocacy campaigns.


Nutrition and Health: Patients and Populations

This elective, offered in the winter, 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.

Successful completion of any of the above courses will be noted on your official transcript.

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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