Professional Enrichment Courses

Medical student curricula are packed with essential courses and content that all students must master, yet most students find time to pursue areas of personal interest. A goal of the recent curricular revision was to provide increased opportunities for such exploration and growth.

We believe, and students confirm, that pursuing studies beyond the required curriculum helps students understand the connection between their basic science coursework and medical practice, and provides exposure to topics and specialties that cannot readily be included in the core curriculum. A professional enrichment structure was developed to provide well-structured, rigorous and high quality experiences in areas not typically available to students (especially students in the pre-clinical years). 

These courses are offered to any first- or second-year student who is able to commit to attending all course sessions, typically four to eight of them. A student must be in good academic standing to enroll. Most professional enrichment courses (PECs) are only offered during the Spring Term of each academic year. Updates to the course list as well as date changes typically occur in the late Fall. An email is sent to students in early December announcing Spring registration dates. 

Please note that some of the longitudinal PECs that begin in the fall have registration through the course director or student association coordinator. Other fall PECs may have registrations through Denise Downs in late August or September. The registration information is outlined in all the course descriptions. As professional enrichment course offerings are announced and registration opens, students will be notified of the offerings and registration details via email. 

Students who have other assigned academic commitments at the course times must meet those commitments. Therefore, some students may not be able to enroll in some professional enrichment courses.

Course space is limited, based on the maximum number of students designated by the course director.

Students who successfully complete a professional enrichment course will receive a certificate of completion. It will not be shown on their official University transcript.

Additional questions about professional enrichment courses should be directed to Denise Downs in the Office of Medical Education at 412-648-8749 or ddowns@medschool.pitt.edu.

Professional enrichment courses are being updated regularly with the 2021-2022 course descriptions.

Courses for First Year Students

Summer Course

Fall Courses

Spring Courses

  • A Seizure or Not a Seizure: How to Evaluate and Seize the Seizure
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Bystander Emergency Response
  • Cardiac Surgery 101
  • Difficult Conversations in the COVID-19 Era
  • Drawing for Seeing and Understanding: The Human Figure
  • Exploring Bias Through Reflective Practice
  • Family Planning - Beyond the Basics
  • Health Policy
  • How Did We Get Here? Practical Lessons on the History of Medicine
  • How to Win at Research: A Guide to Presenting and Publishing More
  • How We Breathe: Applied Pulmonary Physiology
  • Intimate Partner Violence: Introductory IPV Education for Medical Students
  • Introduction to Anatomic Pathology
  • Introduction to Dermatology
  • Introduction to Ophthalmology
  • Introduction to Regional Anesthesia: Learning Ultrasound Guided Nerve Blocks
  • Interprofessional Care
  • Introduction to Vascular Surgery
  • Multi-Disciplinary Approach to the Diagnosis of Musculoskeletal Neoplasms
  • Narrative Medicine
  • Neuroanatomy Applied - Stroke by Stroke
  • Orthopaedic Surgery Sports Medicine
  • Palliative Care Communication Skills
  • Personalized Medicine: The Impact of Molecular Testing on Patient Care
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Basics
  • Practical Medical Conversations in Spanish
  • Principles of LGBTQ+ Health
  • Rehabilitation Concepts in Muscle, Joint, Brain and Nerve Physiology
  • Transitions: Primary Care's Role in Addiction Medicine

Courses for Second Year Students

Fall Courses

Spring Courses

  • A Seizure or Not a Seizure: How to Evaluate and Seize the Seizure
  • Advanced Pediatric Interviewing
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Cardiac Surgery 101
  • Culinary Medicine
  • Difficult Conversations in the COVID-19 Era
    • Syllabus
  • ECG Interpretation: Beyond Recognition
  • Exploring Bias Through Reflective Practice
  • How Did We Get Here? Practical Lessons in the History of Medicine
  • How to Win at Research: A Guide to Presenting and Publishing More
  • How We Breathe: Applied Pulmonary Physiology
  • Interprofessional Care
  • Intimate Partner Violence: Introductory IPV Education for Medical Students
  • Master Diagnosticians: A Professional Enrichment Course in Clinical Reasoning
  • Multi-Disciplinary Approach to the Diagnosis of Musculoskeletal Neoplasms
  • Orthopaedic Surgery Sports Medicine
  • Palliative Care Communication Skills
  • Personalized Medicine: The Impact of Molecular Testing on Patient Care
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Point of Care (POCUS) Basics
  • Refugee Health
  • Rehabilitation Concepts in Muscle, Joint, Brain and Nerve Physiology

Longitudinal Professional Enrichment Courses