Biology 265 Experience in the Life Sciences

Medical Preceptorship

  1. Due to federally mandated HIPAA guidelines, all students must complete HIPAA Training PRIOR to registration. We will not be able to make any exceptions. Please contact Mr. Patrick Clark in the Student Affairs Office located in the Plant Growth Building, Room 105. (South of the NSLC) to get the appropriate forms and details for compliance.
  2. Students must register separately for each semester.
    Application Deadlines: Fall/Spring semesters-First Friday of semester in which you are applying. Summer - First Friday of June.
  3. A brief work plan must accompany registration for the first semester
  4. A brief report on the first semester's activities, countersigned by the mentor, must accompany the application for the second semester.
  5. A brief description of the topic that the student will investigate in more depth (see below) must be turned in no later than with the application for the second semester. It must be countersigned by the mentor.

Goals and Expectations of Mentor and Student

We have in mind a course requiring about 6 hours on average/week of the student's time (but clearly much less of the physician's time - see below) over two semesters. Please see the table for an explanation of the expectations of hours/week/units for Bio 265 for the fall, spring and summer semesters. The official course description of Bio 265 appears below. It includes experiences other than Medical Preceptorship.

Biol 265 Experience in the Life Sciences- Section 1 (spring/fall)
Earn credit for non-classroom learning in the life sciences in a variety of activities arranged by the student: Accompany a WU Faculty physician on rounds and prepare a paper on an organ system or disease, participate in a clinical or applied ecological study and report on it, participate in science outreach teaching, etc.  Participants must meet regularly with a supervisor and commit at least 140 hours over two semesters. A work plan is approved prior to registration.  A progress report is due after one semester and a final paper after two semesters.  Does not count toward the major.  Registration forms are available from Mr. Patrick Clark (935-6881) in the Student Affairs Office located in the Plant Growth Building, Room 105. After Biology Department approval, Mr. Clark will register you. Credit: 3 units, 1.5 units per semester, contingent upon completion of two semesters.  Credit/No Credit only. Course Master: Dr. Joan Downey.

The following sequence of events is typical. Note that they do not all impinge on the physician's time. While the physician is the responsible mentor, it is often a very good idea for the student to spend time with nurses, residents, fellows or technicians, whose experience provides valuable knowledge of medical care. In this case, we do ask, however, that the mentor specifically discuss with the third party whether s(he) would enjoy interacting with an undergraduate in this way. (Our experience is that sometimes the mentor is more enthusiastic about having an undergraduate student than are other people in the mentor's group.)

The mentor may ask the student to become informed about organ system(s) and basic biology most relevant to the mentor's interests and practice. This material may be new to the student, probably less so if the student has completed Bio 3110 (Vertebrate Structure) or Bio 328 (Comparative Vertebrate Physiology).The student benefits from discussing these topics with an informed person, but that person need not be the physician/mentor. As noted above, nurses, residents, fellows or technicians with experience who can take the time to participate will often be entirely suitable tutors. The student "shadows" the physician and others of the team to be exposed to as many aspects of practice as practical and appropriate. For an intellectual and academic portion of the experience, we ask that the mentor have the student research and write a paper or make an oral presentation, for example, on the modalities of treatments, the controversies about the best clinical response in some condition about which the mentor has special interest or knowledge. These tasks require students to spend time on their own, although, clearly, the student needs some guidance in getting into the appropriate literature and ongoing discussion about the issues raised by that literature. At the end of the first semester, the student prepares and submits to the Biology Department a brief summary of the first semester's experiences, as well as an indication of the topic to be explored (as described just above), countersigned by the mentor.


A goal of the course is to enrich the student's understanding and appreciation of the work of a medical professional while, at the same time, making only practical demands on the time and energy of mentors, and her or his associates. We are open to any modification and would appreciate suggestions from potential mentors and students.

Registration:

Forms are available from Mr. Patrick Clark (935-6881) in the Student Affairs Office located in the Plant Growth Building, Room 105. After Biology Department approval, Mr. Clark will register you.

Students should be aware that hospitals now require a Felony Background check and a Drug screening test before Registration in the course is final and before patient exposure begins.  Once the student has identified the WU faculty member who agrees to mentor their Bio 265 experience, the faculty mentor needs to refer the student to the appropriate Division or Departmental Administrator to determine their specific requirements.  WU HR Background checks and drug screening can take at least 2 weeks for results which are required before Danforth Registration.

** Bio 265 is not usually offered during the summer however, it may be possible for a student to receive credit during the fall semester for clinical work conducted over the summer — provided that the summer work meets the criteria for a Bio 265experience, and provided that the student does not receive a stipend or salary for their summer work. Students wishing to pursue summer clinical work for credit should be aware that to receive 1.5 units, an absolute minimum of 10 weeks and 7.5 hours/week of time is to be spent on research, rather than the minimum 5 hours/week as during the school year. Work should begin no later than June 1st. Please contact Patrick Clark for additional information on the requirements and eligibility criteria for receiving Fall semester credit for summer work. (Summer credit will become part of 21 allowed credit and the student is responsible for paying WU if he/she exceeds 21 credits in the Fall).


Bio 265 hrs/week/unit gudeline

Semester
Schedule Type
Hrs/Week
Weeks
Units
Total Hours
Fall Part-time
~6
14
1.5
80
Spring Part-time
~6
14
1.5
80
   
Summer
1
8
10
1.5
80
Summer
2
10
8
1.5
80
Summer
3
16
10
3
160
Summer
4
20
8
3
160
Summer
5
~27
6
3
160

Typical schedules for students doing clinical research are the schedules which earn them 1.5 units. The expectation of a student who is enrolling in Bio 265 for a 1.5 unit semester schedule is that he/she will complete a 2 semester project. Any student who does not complete 2 semester may receive a maximum of 1 unit for the semester completed.


Other Experiential Learning

Bio 2651/2654. Med Prep Program (Parts I and II): Med Prep I is a unique lecture series designed specifically for students considering a career in medicine.  Through a 2-hour weekly lecture, this course gives students accurate, honest, and detailed information regarding every step of the application and admissions process to medical school. MedPrep I is particularly useful for freshmen and sophomores in that it gives students a road map and strategy for their four years of college and reviews the common pitfalls encountered by unsuccessful applicants. There is no outside course work and no exams. Attendance at all classes is required. Bio 2651 is a pre-requisite for Bio 2654: MedPrep II – The Shadowing Experience. Med Prep II offers students a real-life, behind-the-scenes experience of a life in medicine. For three hours every other week, students shadow physicians in the Charles F. Knight Emergency and Trauma Center of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the main teaching hospital of the Washington University School of Medicine. A weekly 1-hour meeting is also held on the Danforth campus for group discussion regarding the clinical experience. Only in the summer semester may students take both courses concurrently. There is no outside course work and no exams. Consult the website at http://medprep.wustl.edu for registration instructions.

Bio 2652.Pediatric Emergency Medicine Research Associates Program (PEMRAP) offers undergraduate pre-medical students an opportunity to participate in clinical, patient-oriented research projects in a hospital setting.  Students work in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Emergency Department, a nationally recognized pediatric emergency medicine and trauma care facility.  A number of research projects are currently underway in various areas of pediatric emergency medicine, including asthma, fluid management in dehydration, procedural pain and sedation, cervical spine trauma, head injury, wound care, and fracture healing.  For details, see http://www.nslc.wustl.edu/courses/Bio2652/index.html.

Biol 2656.Introduction to Health Professions: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Audiology (spring semester)
This course provides students interested in Health Professions with an overview of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Audiology. Students will gain a better understanding of the scope of practice, markets, and skills required to succeed in these professions. Students will learn about graduate and professional education options and how to build a competitive application for these programs. Finally, students will be introduced to field experiences in each area and culminate their study with an inter-professional education session illustrating the role of each of the professions in a single case. Students will finish the course with a better understanding of whether a career in health professions is right for them. Small Class.  Credit 1 unit.  S. Taff, M. Valente (WUMS)


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