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Electives

Elective courses let students explore medicine’s humane and ethical dimensions while customizing their education. Elective offerings, which vary year to year, have included the following:

Elective NumberElective Title and DescriptionCredit Hours
BIO 1122Problem-Based-Learning (PBL) Biochemistry

This elective is an advanced medical biochemistry course that is offered as an enhancement to the traditional Biochemistry/Molecular Genetics course (BIOC 1102/1202).  It is designed for those students with a background in biochemistry or those who are interested in going beyond the scope of the traditional course.  Students who are intellectually inquisitive and those who are interactive by nature likely will benefit from and enjoy involvement in this course.  The course utilizes a problem-based learning format focused on clinical case presentations of biochemical interest.  The course employs a small group discussion format that demands active participation by all group members.  The case study sessions provide a forum in which students develop problem-solving skills and achieve a deeper understanding of biochemical principles and processes as applied to clinical situations.  In the sessions, the students play the dominant role in developing hypotheses, analyzing information and setting learning goals and objectives based on the information supplied in the case write-up. The role of the group facilitator in this scenario is not that of a director who leads the discussion, or as a source of information to be tapped by the group.  Rather, the facilitator’s role centers around keeping the discussion appropriately “on track,” drawing all members of the group into the discussion and ensuring that a sufficient depth of understanding is attained by the group.

 1.0
INS 2003Cranial Nerves – A Case-Based Approach

This elective neuroanatomy course is designed to provide an understanding of the structure and function of the cranial nerves and the main neurological deficits resulting from cranial nerve lesions through clinical case discussions. It is assumed that the student taking this course will have a reasonable working knowledge of the structure and function of the cranial nerves. This is not a review course, but is intended to serve as a supplement to the DO-DPM Neuroanatomy course, DPT Neuroanatomy course and PA Neurologic System.

 1.0
INS 2005Medicine and the Arts

This course is designed to explore the intersections between the medical world and the arts. Intended for medical students and allied professionals with an interest in literature, visual arts, drama, television, and film, this course will deal with the rich legacy of human creativity as it relates to medicine and the society of humankind. The course is presented in a seminar format, providing extensive opportunities for discussion of many of the diverse and thought-provoking issues encompassed in modern health care.  Elements of the course include completion of assigned readings, directed reviews of selected works, class discussion and participation.

 1.0
INS 2020Beginning Medical Spanish

Introduces the student to basic Spanish vocabulary, Spanish medical vocabulary, comprehension and sentence structure. Intended for students who have little or no proficiency in conversational Spanish.

 1.0
INS 2021Dying in America: Palliative and End-of-Life Care

This elective course is based upon the Education for Physicians on End-of-Life Care (EPEC) curriculum with an emphasis on selected components of the curriculum and incorporation of the humanities and the arts into the elective.  This curriculum was developed for the medical profession in recognition that end-of-life care (ELC) has been neglected in the past.  The EPEC curriculum seeks to provide health care professionals with skills and tools to assist them in providing competent and compassionate ELC.  Competence in providing excellent ELC can ameliorate, but not eliminate, the fear, negative images and avoidance responses from individuals, including health care professionals, when confronted with their own death or the death of those who seek their care.  This is especially true for physicians who have traditionally seen death as a failure of care.

 1.0
INS 2023Intermediate Medical Spanish

The purpose of this course is to teach communication with Spanish-speaking patients in order to form strong clinician-patient rapport.  Students will learn a standardized universal Spanish that also includes many words and expressions that take on different meanings in different countries and regions.  Latino patients will come from a variety of countries, education levels, socio-economic backgrounds and origins (whether urban or rural areas). This class will address some of those differences.

 1.0
INS 2024Animal-Assisted Therapy and the Use of Service Animals

The goal of this course is to acquaint future health care professionals with the wide variety of ways animals are used in animal-assisted activities, animal-assisted therapy, and as service animals in both physical and psychological support roles. The students will, through outside reading, class demonstrations, discussion, etc., obtain a deeper understanding of the value and ethics of using an animal as part of therapy. The course will meet for six or seven two-hour on-campus sessions and make an off-campus trip to a hippotherapy center.

 1.0
INS 2026Problem-Based Anatomy

The problem-based anatomy course is designed for students who desire a greater appreciation of the clinical relevance of anatomy and will be of educational utility to the student preparing for board examinations. The course will utilize lecture and discussion to guide students through selected clinical vignettes from the text, Problem-Based Anatomy. Each clinical vignette provides an educational framework in which the student can apply his or her anatomical knowledge to clinical situations. Another value-added attribute of the course is its integrated approach to the field of anatomy. Therefore, wherever appropriate the clinical vignettes will explore the various subdisciplines of anatomy. These include anatomic pathology, cell biology, embryology, gross anatomy, histology, neuroanatomy and radiologic anatomy.

 1.0
INS 2027Forty-hour Cranial Course

This forty-hour cranial course, sanctioned by the Cranial Academy, encompasses twenty hours each of lectures and labs. Upon completion, the student will have an understanding of the Cranial Concept and be able to evaluate and treat common cranial dysfunctions. Student will also be allowed to submit an application for membership in the Cranial Academy.

 2.0
INS 2030Reproductive Health Choices

Offered in partnership with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland as education and training for possible internships. Training will cover reproductive health and available reproduction options. Trainers from Planned Parenthood, under the supervision of the coordinator, will present the course material.

 1.0
INS 2031Human Development

An introduction to the basic principles and concepts of human development from zygote to birth. Wherever possible, developmental processes will be translated to clinical relevance.

 2.0
INS 2032Healthy Food Preparation: Nutritional Survival 101

This course is designed to introduce the student to some basic methods for preparing meals that incorporate ingredients associated with health risk reduction. The emphasis will be on preparing healthy, tasty and economical dishes as simply as possible, utilizing regional cuisines from around the world. All dishes prepared will be eaten by participants. Students will be encouraged to share and demonstrate any cooking techniques they have acquired.

 0.5
INST 2036ARural Medicine Educational Pathway

This course, offered in the fall, is designed to promote and foster interprofessional student interest in rural medicine. The course is mandatory for all recipients of a DMU Rural Health Scholarship. Scholarship students must attend all sessions to receive credit for this course on their DMU transcript and to remain eligible for an ongoing scholarship. Apply through college faculty.

1.0
INST 2036BRural Medicine Educational Pathway

This course, offered in the spring, is designed to promote and foster interprofessional student interest in rural medicine. The course is mandatory for all recipients of a DMU Rural Health Scholarship. Scholarship students must attend all sessions to receive credit for this course on their DMU transcript and to remain eligible for an ongoing scholarship. Apply through college faculty. Prerequisite: INST 2036A

1.0
INS 2039Introductory Figure Drawing

The ability to observe and interpret what is seen is critical for practicing clinicians. Over the past decade, several educational studies in this country and elsewhere have demonstrated that courses to train the eyes promote observational skills that can result in improved clinical and diagnostic acumen. This elective is an introduction to seeing and drawing the surface anatomy of the human body. It is intended as a way for DMU students to increase their ability to see clearly as a step toward excellence in clinical work.  This course is therefore designed to promote a clearer understanding of the observed human form and to explore the basic factors of drawing the nude; name, structure, anatomy, design, and expression. Emphasis will be placed on accurate visualization and measurements of the human body and translation of those observations into imagery.

 2.0
INS 2043Interviewing and Communication Skills for Enhanced Patient Care

Intro to doctor-patient communication and assessment skills. Students will be introduced to theories and methods contributing to enhanced patient comfort and cooperation, and the promotion of positive health and lifestyle change. Role-playing.

 1.0
INS 2044The Healer’s Art

The Healer’s Art addresses the growing loss of meaning and commitment experienced by physicians in today’s stressful health care system. Prospective physicians arrive in medical school with high ideals and altruism, but many of them report that during residency and later practice their high principles seem to atrophy and fall away. The rate of physician dropout is climbing, owing to many external and internal pressures that wear away at the ideals and goals of many. The Healer’s Art is a process-based course that enables students and faculty to come together as a sharing community that helps both develop the ability to find meaning in their chosen career, throughout their lives.

 1.0
INS 2063AMilitary Elective

This elective, offering in the fall, facilitates military professional development during medical school education. In addition to standard medical education, this elective can help prepare Medical Corps Officers for their military service. Our COM is already known in the military community to produce excellent physicians. Unfortunately, a stigma exists, with partial truth, that the typical military physician does not come prepared with adequate leadership skills and working military knowledge. With the help of this military elective, military students will leave DMU with the ability to heal and lead America’s service members.

 0.5
INS 2063BMilitary Elective

This elective, offered in the spring, facilitates military professional development during medical school education. In addition to standard medical education, this elective can help prepare Medical Corps Officers for their military service. Our COM is already known in the military community to produce excellent physicians. Unfortunately, a stigma exists, with partial truth, that the typical military physician does not come prepared with adequate leadership skills and working military knowledge. With the help of this military elective, military students will leave DMU with the ability to heal and lead America’s service members. Prerequisite: INST 2063A

 0.5
INS 2065Coronary Circulation

Understanding the burden of coronary arterial disease requires contextual knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the coronary circulation.  Anatomically, this course will cover general concepts of blood vessel formation and remodeling, development of coronary vessels, the anatomy of the coronary vessels along with anomalies, and collateral circulation.  Physiologically, methods of measuring coronary blood flow and its regulation and distribution will be considered.  Lastly, anatomic and physiologic adaptations related to aging, exercise, and cardiac hypertrophy will be considered.  Prerequisites:  ANAT 1101A, ANAT 1101B, PHYS 1116

 1.0
INS 2070Literature and Narrative Medicine

This course invites students to grow in their understanding of illness and healing through a survey of literature and narrative medicine. Utilizing the lens of patient, family care giver, physician healer and others who care for the ill and dying among us, students are encouraged to be open to increased self-awareness and to develop both compassion and resilience for their life of service in medicine. The eight two-hour sessions will be utilized to pursue the goal of increased self- awareness and broad-based cultural humility as it relates to illness and suffering and health and healing.

 1.0
INS 2071Community Health Immersion Project (CHIP)

Through community experiences, this course examines cultural competencies and the barriers faced by medically underserved communities in the Des Moines area.

 1.0
INS 2072Tools for Teaching

This course will cover course design and revision, crafting a syllabus, application of adult learning principles to the design of presentations, effective use of learning psychology in the effective design and delivery of presentations, educational methods, execution of adult learning principles, and assessing student learning outcomes.

 1.0
INS 2073AGlobal Health Learning Collaborative

The Global Health Learning Collaborative (GHLC) is an elective aimed at introducing students to the key concepts and principles of global health. Special focus will be given to socioeconomic, political and cultural forces that converge to shape health care systems globally. The global burden of disease and challenges for practicing health care professionals will also be addressed in order to better prepare students for work abroad. The goal of this course is to encourage students to critically assess global health efforts & develop innovative and pragmatic solutions to combat the health challenges seen worldwide. In this manner, GHLC hopes to inspire the next generation of global citizens from Des Moines University.

 1.0
INS 2073BGlobal Health Learning Collaborative

A selected group of participants will have the opportunity to apply the theories learned in the classroom to action on the ground during a week-long medical service trip. Prerequisite: INST 2073A

 1.0
INS 2076From Stage to Clinic: Improv Skills in a Health Care Setting

Through the experiential study of improv theater, students will use a fun, innovative and rejuvenating medium to develop their skill set as providers. Improv challenges students to break out of their shells and be humbly fearless. As students are placed in high-stress situations throughout their clinical years and careers, it is important that they have the confidence to speak to superiors and contribute to teams. Similar to SIM lab, students will have the opportunity to make mistakes and try new techniques in a safe and low-risk environment.

 0.5
INS 2077Evolutionary Medicine and Health

This elective is designed to introduce students to evolutionary theory and the evolutionary mechanisms underlying the origins of various human diseases and disorders and will also examine the benefits and costs of some of the suggested approaches toward treatment.

 1.0
INS 2078APractical Foundations for Medical Education

This course will provide students with the opportunity to explore the fundamentals of education including learning theory, assessment, lesson design, and self-evaluation through group discussion and reflective writing. Practice developing and implementing your own engaging lessons utilizing active learning approaches. Understand and be able to justify instructional choices.  Prepare yourself for a career in academia by developing a robust teaching philosophy statement and the skills and knowledge necessary to continually improve your teaching practice.

 1.5
INS 2078BApplications of Practical Foundations for Medical Education

This course will provide students with the opportunity to apply the concepts they learned in the pre-requisite course, Practical Foundations for Medical Education (INST 2078A).  Students will complete lesson objective writing, design and implement educational experiences, and create student learning assessment tools.  Students will develop and direct tutorial sessions for their peers in a manner congruent with their academic program’s curriculum.  Prerequisite: INST 2078A

 1.0
 RESC 2100Mentored Research Experience

This course is designed to introduce students to conducting research in lab and clinical settings. Students must have a faculty mentor agree to supervise them prior to enrolling in the course. The specific goals for the research project will be determined along with the faculty mentor.

 1.0