Medical Student Education

The division also plays a prominent role in the education of medical students. Faculty and fellows within the division teach respiratory physiology through didactic lectures and small group cases during the pre-clinical years. Students have several opportunities for clinical education in pulmonary disease and critical illness both at the University Hospital and at the Veterans Hospital. Faculty are frequently recognized as the best educators by medical students, winning Medical School and Department pre-clinical and clinical teaching awards for each of the last several years. Awards won by pulmonary faculty include the Richard D. Judge Award for Excellence in Medical Student Teaching, Galen’s Medical Society Silver Shovel Award, and the Kaiser-Permanente Award for Excellence in Teaching in Pre-Clinical Sciences. Our Division also strives to provide interested students with opportunities for training in basic, translational, and clinical research.

Pre-Clinical Education

In the current pre-clinical curriculum, the Pulmonary and Critical Care faculty members contribute to the M1 Cardiorespiratory Sequence through the provision of lectures on normal respiratory physiology and through case-based learning in a small group session. In the M2 Respiratory Sequence, which occurs over a two-week block in the fall of the second year, the members of the faculty deliver the majority of the lecture-based learning. Through these lectures, the students learn about the pathophysiology of pulmonary disease. The course material is divided into sections that include a review of normal respiratory physiology, an introduction to obstructive lung diseases including COPD, asthma, and bronchiectasis, an introduction to restrictive lung processes including pleural disorders and interstitial disease, and an introduction to infectious disorders of the lung including pneumonia and tuberculosis. Both attending physicians and fellows from our division also lead two small group sessions that center on case-based learning.

Clinical Education

Clinical rotation on Pulmonary consult service (one month rotation)

The learner is a member of the Pulmonary Consults Service for this elective. The Consults Service sees a wide scope of chest diseases. The rotation emphasizes history, physical and diagnostic techniques, and physiologic, roentgenographic, and pathologic correlations and treatment. Learners independently evaluate pulmonary referrals prior to personal bedside review with fellows and faculty. Learners participate in diagnostic procedures and conferences.

Clinical rotation in CCMU at the University Hospital or MICU at VA (one month rotation)

This ICU rotation will introduce the learner (student or intern) to the care of critically ill patients. Learners will assume responsibility for patient care under the guidance of a senior resident and critical care fellow. There is supervised participation in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Daily rounds with the attending physician will provide both theoretical and practical information. For students, this rotation if a subinternship  and also fulfills their ICU requirement for graduation. At the intern level, this rotation serves as an intense experience in the care of the sickest patients. At the Senior Resident level, this rotation allows for leadership, polishing of organizational and clinical skills, and the opportunity to teach and mentor younger trainees.

Outpatient clinic

M3 students are assigned to Pulmonary outpatient clinics for half-day assignment per week over the course of one month. We ask the students to see the patients first and alone, then staff them with faculty. Students are exposed to the full breadth of Pulmonary diseases as well as many CXRs and PFTs. Students very much enjoy working directly with Pulmonary faculty and fellows in the outpatient clinic.

Research Opportunities

The Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Division offers a wide variety of research opportunities in which medical students can engage. Research interests among our faculty include clinical studies on health outcomes, COPD, and pulmonary fibrosis; and basic science research with a focus on lung infection, immunity, and fibrosis. Specifics about individual faculty member’s research interests can be found on the Faculty page and clicking on the faculty member's name.

Students can pursue pulmonary research opportunities through a variety of avenues. Several members of our division actively participate in the Summer Biomedical Research Program. Through this program, funds are available to support a two-three month project between the first and second year of medical school. Students can also partner with Pulmonary and Critical Care faculty members to complete the Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program. This is a one year intensive training program in clinical research (typically completed between the third and fourth year of medical school) that culminates in a Master’s degree. Outside of these more formal programs, the members of the Pulmonary and Critical Care faculty are open to students contacting them directly to arrange for clinical or laboratory research experiences.