Anti-Medical School

BioE 298: Anti-Medical School, 1 unit, Sept 7 through Dec 8, 2011

Held every Wed from 4-6pm at UC Berkeley (Stanley Hall 179) and every Thurs from 4-6pm at UCSF (Byers Hall 212).
A required course for the master’s degree in bioengineering with coursework and project emphasis on translational medicine.

We have many opportunities to advance medical care by solving significant problems that have defied conventional solutions. But there has been an invisible barrier between scientists working at the level of discovery and invention and physicians who provide health care. Many of the former have the potential to make major advances in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease, but are unaware of specific needs in medicine. Physicians on the other hand frequently meet with frustration in being able to deal with medical problems for which they have suboptimal equipment, testing, and therapies.

The Anti-Medical School course provides an understanding of the nature of some of the technical and scientific limitations in treating people with serious diseases. Neurosurgeons, pediatric, orthopedic, and ophthalmologic surgeons, and medical, surgical, and neuro-oncologists will discuss the challenges they encounter in their practice, and opportunities for advancing their fields by new inventions and discoveries. Students will actively participate in organizing the lectures, and in discussing potential experimental solutions to these problems. It is expected that students will acquire a new appreciation of how their research has the potential for overcoming significant problems in medicine.

Course objectives

  • Provide the context for human disease processes that present significant obstacles for clinicians
  • Describe opportunities for discovery of novel inventions and agents that will significantly advance screening, diagnosis, and treatment of human diseases
  • Develop plans in a group setting for solutions to challenges presented during the course
  • Develop a framework of thought processes involved in research related to human disease