MD Degree Selective Courses

Stage Three: Individualized Exploration MD Degree Selective Courses
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Stage Three: Individualized Exploration MD Degree Selective Courses

NYU School of Medicine selectives are one-month courses in specialty or subspecialty areas. To earn your MD degree, you must complete at least two selectives, which you take during stages two, three, and four of the curriculum. Grades for selective courses include honors, high pass, pass, and fail.

Currently Offered Selectives 

The selective courses listed here integrate basic and clinical sciences. Current students can access full descriptions of all selectives on Brightspace, our online medical education portal (a Kerberos ID is required for login). Selective courses are not available to visiting students.

The Office of Registration and Student Records provides information about participating in the selective lottery to determine your schedule. 

Breast Surgery

Students participate in the preoperative and postoperative assessment of patients with breast cancer and other breast diseases. You assist in the operating room with a variety of procedures including mastectomy, lumpectomy, breast biopsy, percutaneous tissue sampling, and treatment of benign breast disease.

Cardiac System

Students get an overview of the prevention, diagnosis, and multidisciplinary treatment of cardiovascular disease, including experience in cardiac surgery. 

Care of the Child with Chronic Illness

Students learn about the general medical principles of treating children with chronic illnesses. You also learn how to care for and interact with families and other professionals involved in children’s care. 

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Students evaluate and treat children with mental illness and address their families’ needs. You gain experience with a range of psychiatric conditions, such as affective disorders, psychotic disorders, and disruptive behavior disorders.

Emergency Medicine

Students participate in the development of hands-on problem-solving approaches to treating a wide array of medical, surgical, pediatric, gynecologic, and psychiatric illnesses. These may range from treating people with minor self-limited conditions to unstable and critically ill patients. Attendance is required at first day orientation.

Tisch Endocrine Surgery/Surgical Oncology

Students perform preoperative and postoperative assessments of patients with thyroid cancer, other thyroid diseases, hyperparathyroidism, adrenal tumors, malignant melanoma, sarcomas, and other soft-tissue tumors. You assist in the operating room and gain experience performing thyroid and parathyroid ultrasound, ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration, fiber-optic laryngoscopy, and other tumor-related imaging services.

Environmental Health

Students learn about the potential health risks associated with environmental contaminants. You are introduced to the clinical features and basic science associated with environmentally induced diseases, and learn how to evaluate and diagnose these conditions.

Epidemiology 

Students learn how to conduct epidemiologic research. You develop the ability to assess the strengths and limitations of research studies and perform basic statistical analyses. 

Frontiers in Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology

Students learn to describe common toxic syndromes, recognize symptoms of poisoning during a physical exam, and understand the use of labs to detect poisoning. You become familiar with the role of poison centers in public health, learn how to manage common poison emergencies, and apply pharmacokinetic principles to toxicokinetics.

Gender and Health

Students investigate the influence of gender as it relates biologically and psychosocially to health and disease. You also learn how gender affects the ways in which healthcare is provided and accessed. You explore topics in women’s health, men’s health, and LGBTQ+ health. 

Geriatric Psychiatry 

Students learn to perform comprehensive health assessments, diagnose and treat common geriatric mental illnesses, and differentiate between dementia, depression, and delirium. You also become familiar with the appropriate pharmacological management of older psychiatric patients and the risks associated with polypharmacy. In addition, you learn about medications that may cause or exacerbate cognitive problems. 

Global Health—Surgery and Acute Care

Students learn about surgical and acute care conditions common in developing countries. You also acquire an understanding of the diagnostic capabilities within these countries and the systemic issues that influence access, availability, and quality of surgical and acute care throughout the developing world. 

Global Health—Infectious Diseases, Noncommunicable Diseases, and Mental Health

Students delve into current research themes in global infectious diseases and their application in clinical settings. You also are introduced to a sampling of issues related to noncommunicable disease and mental health within the global health arena. 

Health Disparities 

Students explore how factors such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, income, and education influence inequities in health outcomes. You also provide healthcare in underserved areas. 

Healthcare System Innovation and Policy 

Students discover key features of the U.S. healthcare delivery and financing system and learn analytical concepts used to evaluate current health policy issues. 

Musculoskeletal Medicine

Students learn how rheumatologists, rehabilitation medicine specialists, and orthopaedic surgeons can pool their expertise to treat musculoskeletal complaints.

Palliative Care and Clinical Ethics 

Students develop essential clinical and communication skills needed to address the physical, social, psychological, and spiritual needs of patients in hospice and palliative medicine settings. You learn how these needs vary depending on a patient’s age, disease, cultural background, and location of care.

Pediatric Surgery

Students gain experience in preoperative and postoperative pediatric surgical care through the management of common pediatric surgical problems. You perform focused pediatric physical exams, learn to recognize the major disease processes addressed in pediatric surgery, formulate differential diagnoses and treatment plans for pediatric patients, and calculate pediatric fluid requirements. You also learn to recognize major congenital anomalies. 

Population Health 

Students focus on health determinants and their outcomes at a population level and learn about the diverse disciplines that highlight the multiple facets of population health. You learn proactive approaches to disease prevention and management at the community, health system, and policy levels. 

Radiology 

Students gain a comprehensive overview of diagnostic imaging. You observe radiologists in the reading room, review radiographic teaching files, and develop diagnostic algorithms for patient workups. 

Reproductive Psychiatry

Students learn to evaluate and treat women with psychiatric disorders associated with the pregnancy and the postpartum period. You develop an understanding of the differential diagnoses and evidence-based treatments for mood, anxiety, psychotic, and substance use disorders that present perinatally.

Transplantation Surgery 

Students participate in all aspects of transplant care, including preoperative assessment of candidates for liver and kidney transplantation. You assist in the remote procurement of organs, implantation of organs in the operating room, and postoperative management of transplant recipients. 

Vascular Surgery 

Students care for patients with arterial and venous diseases in both inpatient and outpatient settings. You participate in preoperative and postoperative care and assist in surgery. 

Women's Cancers—A Multidisciplinary Approach

Students learn about malignancies of the cervix, uterus, ovary, and breast. Students participate in directed clinical experiences in the office, clinic, and operating room, and learn basic science concepts related to genetics, pharmacology, and pathology.