Courses and Course Directors


First year

First-year courses are taught during the 39-week academic year.

M80 502 WU Medical Plunge
Will Ross, MD, MPH

M75 501 Physiology
Robert Mercer, PhD

M05 502A Histology and Cell Biology
Paul C. Bridgman, PhD

M05 501B The Human Body: Anatomy, Embryology, Imaging
Glenn C. Conroy, PhD

M30 523 Immunology
Brian Edelson, MD, PhD

M30 511 Medical Genetics
Sabrina Nunez, PhD

M30 526 Microbes and Pathogenesis
Henry V. Huang, PhD

M15 502 Molecular Foundations of Medicine
Linda J. Pike, PhD

M35 554 Neural Sciences
David C. Van Essen, PhD
Timothy E. Holy, PhD
Krikor Dikranian, MD, PhD

M25 507 The Practice of Medicine I
Timothy Yau, MD
• Clinical Skills
Alan Glass, MD
• Ethics and Health Policy
Richard Brasington, MD
• Community and Public Health
Aimee S. James, PhD, MPH
• Interpreting Illness
Colleen Wallace, MD
• Communication Skills
Dehra Harris, MD/ Alan Glass, MD
• Clinical Epidemiology & Evidence Based Medicine
Jay Piccirillo, MD

M70 500 Principles of Pharmacology
Simon Haroutounian, PhD, MSc

First-year selectives

The Selective Program provides first-year medical students with opportunities for enrichment and in-depth focus on areas beyond the core curriculum. All first year medical students are required to take and successfully complete at least four 10-hour Selective courses with a maximum number of six. Students must enroll in a minimum of one selective in humanities, one in the basic sciences, and one in a clinical area. They must also choose one additional selective from the clinical or basic science category.

Selective category descriptions:

Basic: Content or experience primarily deals with issues of cell biology, physiology, pathophysiology of diseases, and scientific and statistical methods.

Clinical: Content or experience primarily related to patient care in the inpatient or outpatient setting, communications, public or global health, palliative care or health care policy.

Humanities: Content or experience primarily deals with ethics, medicine as the subject of literature or the arts, or the history of medicine.

M04 General Selectives
Michael M. Awad, MD, PhD

M04 Medical Humanities
Colleen Wallace, MD

Examples of selective offerings from last year include:

598H Advanced Interdisciplinary Bioethics Seminar-Ethical Issues in Human Reproduction
582 Alzheimer’s Disease in the Clinic and the Lab
5881 Analysis of Clinical Data
520H Art and Medicine
587Z Beyond the Diagnosis: Social Perspectives on Mental Health
537 Cardiovascular Control Mechanisms
587V Clin Anat & Physio Sherlock Holmes’ Way
587X Clinical Challenges in Health Literacy & Health Communication
5017 Clinical Correlations in Neurosciences
5351 Complementary and Alternative Medicine
530 Contemporary Molecular Immunology
500C Developmental Biology and Disease
538H Doctors on Film
5302 Frontiers in Leukemia
586H Health and Human Rights
5885 Health Street: Hands-On Comm Based Res-I
587L International Health
5878 Introduction to Clinical Neurosurgery
587W Introduction to Dentistry and Oral Medicine
5013 Introduction to Emergency Medicine-I
5016 Introduction to Emergency Medicine-II
581H Introduction to Medical Anthropology
587S Introduction to Newborn Medicine
524H Major Religious Traditions
5009 Medical Spanish
5061 Medicine of Laughter
5667 Microcirculation
588H Music and Medicine
5875 Olin Grand Rounds
516H Patient, Physician and Drama
582H Philosophy of Medicine
587A Physician as Health Protector and Patient Advocate
587N Public Health
587U Saturday Neighborhood Clinic
587T SPOTS (Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Medical Students)
587D Students Teaching AIDS to Students (STATS)
528H Terminal Illness and Death
580H The Healer’s Art
5876 Topics in Orthopaedic Surgery
533 Tropical Medicine
5863 Underserved Areas: Urban, Rural, Abroad

Second year

Second-year courses are taught during the 36-week academic year.

Course no./course title

M25 611B Cardiovascular Disease
Dana R. Abendschein, PhD
Justin Sadhu, MD

M25 614 Dermatology
David Sheinbein, MD

M35 632 Diseases of the Nervous System
Allyson Zazulia, MD

M55 660B Clinical Topics in Otolaryngology
Joseph Bradley, MD

M25 615A Endocrinology and Metabolism
William E. Clutter, MD

M25 620A Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases/Nutrition
Deborah C. Rubin, MD

M25 625A Hematology and Oncology
Meagan Jacoby, MD, PhD
Eric Knoche, MD

M25 605A Infectious Diseases
Nigar Kirmani, MD
Steven Lawrence, MD

M45 635B Obstetrics/Gynecology
Kenan Omurtag, MD

M60 665 Pathology
Erika C. Crouch, PhD, MD

M65 640A Physicians, Patients & Society: Pediatrics
Amanda Emke, MD
Erika Hayes, MD

M25 607 The Practice of Medicine II
Megan Wren, MD
• Clinical Skills
Alan Glass, MD
• Ethics and Health Policy
Richard Brasington, MD
• Community and Public Health
Aimee S. James, PhD, MPH
• Interpreting Illness
Colleen Wallace, MD
• Medicine Patient Sessions
Alan Glass, MD
• Neurology Patient Sessions
Allyson Zazulia, MD
• Ophthalmology
Colin McClelland, MD
• Communication Skills
Dehra Harris, MD
• Radiology
Catherine Appleton, MD
• Clinical Epidemiology & Evidence Based Medicine
Jay Piccirillo, MD

M85 676A Diseases of the Nervous System: Psychiatry
Marcie Garland, MD

M25 612B Pulmonary Diseases
Adrian Shifren, MD

M25 613B Renal and Genitourinary Diseases
Steven Cheng, MD

M25 606A Rheumatology
Richard D. Brasington, Jr., MD

Third year

Clinical clerkship (third) year is a 48-week academic year.

Course no./course title

Required Clerkships:

M95 790 Integrated Surgical Disciplines Clerkship (12 weeks)
John Kirby, MD
Eleanor Drew, MD

M25 710 Medicine Clerkship (12 weeks)
Thomas M. De Fer, MD

M35 720 Neurology Clerkship (4 weeks)
Robert Naismith, MD

M45 730 Obstetrics/Gynecology Clerkship (6 weeks)
Tammy Sonn, MD

M65 760 Pediatrics Clerkship (6 weeks)
Michele Marie Estabrook, MD
Colleen Wallace, MD

M25 707 The Practice of Medicine III
Timothy Yau, MD

M85 770 Psychiatry Clerkship (4 weeks)
Brendan O’Connor, MD

Selective clerkships: (choice of one block)

M25 714 Ambulatory: Emergency Medicine Clerkship (4 weeks)
Mark Levine, MD

M26 712 Ambulatory: Family Medicine Clerkship (4 weeks)
Kirsten Dunn, MD

M85 771 Ambulatory: Psychiatry for Generalists Clerkship (4 weeks)
Fay Y. Womer, MD

M90 701 General Radiology Clerkship (4 weeks)
Matthew Parsons, MD
Michael Friedman, MD

M25 740 Dermatology Clerkship (4 weeks)
Lynn Cornelius, MD

M25 750 Geriatrics Clerkship (4 weeks)
Ellen Binder, MD

M60 702 Laboratory Medicine Clerkship (4 weeks)
Mitchell Scott, MD

M25 730 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clerkship (4 weeks)
Neringa Juknis, MD

M90 740 Radiation Oncology Clerkship (4 weeks)
Jeffrey Olson, MD, PhD

M60 750 Surgical Pathology Clerkship (4 weeks)
Samir El-Mofty, DMD, MS, PhD

Fourth year

Fourth year is a 44-week academic year.

M80 849 01 Capstone Course
Gina LaRossa, MD

To qualify for the Doctor of Medicine degree at Washington University School of Medicine, fourth-year students are required to participate in a minimum of 32 weeks of electives (full-time clinical or research courses) and a required four-week Capstone course. Twenty weeks of the minimum required time for the elective year must be taken exclusively in residence in the Washington University School of Medicine elective course program. A complete listing of fourth-year elective offerings at Washington University School of Medicine is available through the Office of the Associate Dean for Medical Student Education. Students may participate in clinical electives of four weeks duration. If a student takes a research elective, that elective must be of at least six weeks duration.

A maximum of 12 weeks of credit is allowed for full-time elective coursework taken at other academic institutions. These may be clinical or research electives. Students desiring credit for work to be done at other institutions must petition the Associate Dean for Medical Student Education. Absolutely no credit will be granted for electives undertaken prior to approval from the appropriate administrative committees.

Credit may be given for elective work done at any point in the standard four-year Doctor of Medicine degree program as long as participation conforms to current elective guidelines, and a) the student is a duly registered, full-time student for a minimum of three years and nine months, including scheduled vacation time, and tuition is paid for four complete academic years; or b) if transferring into the third-year class, the student is a duly registered, full-time student for a minimum of 22 months and tuition is paid for two complete academic years.

Students are encouraged to take lecture-seminar elective courses, but such offerings are optional. Clock hours for the year total 1,386 (36 weeks). Remuneration for work done while participating in electives for credit is prohibited.

Course Descriptions by Department


Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Cell Biology and Physiology

Developmental Biology



Molecular Microbiology




Obstetrics and Gynecology

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Orthopaedic Surgery


Pathology and Immunology



Radiation Oncology