Medical Diagnostics: Observation, Interpretation, the Art of Being a Better MD

Course Description

The course is highly experiential. Field trips may include: Brown’s Hay Library to see its rare collection of illustrated medical books, many from the Renaissance; Brown’s Anatomy Lab where students can interact with cadavers; RISD’s Nature Lab to explore the relationship between the natural and biological worlds; and the Lifespan Medical Simulation Center where students can get hands-on experience with common medical procedures.

In addition, we’ll read essays, memoir excerpts, and short stories by and about physicians that explore what it means to think, feel, and act like a doctor. Topics may include the ways that medical history is entwined with racism and sexism; how power dynamics function in the exam room; the biases attached to specific diseases, and the people who get them.

You can expect significant reading, writing, creative assignments, and lively discussion.

This course will hone skills in both critical thinking and creative output. By the end of this course, you will:
• Have a foundation in the field of Medical Humanities
• Be introduced to the work of writer/doctors
• Understand how qualitative/creative skills are integral to medical practice.


The course requires no prior knowledge. It is geared toward those who are considering a career in medicine as the skills developed in this course can, ultimately, make the student a more nuanced health practitioner. The course also welcomes those who may not plan on a medical career but have a particular interest in medicine, interdisciplinary studies, or have had personal experiences with the health industry. The course is designed for, and limited to, rising high school juniors and seniors.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 18, 2022 - August 05, 2022
Duration: 3 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 8:30A-11:20A
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Kelli Auerbach
Course Number: 10190