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Medical Science Courses and Classes Overview

Graduate degrees in medical science prepare students to work in healthcare as researchers or practitioners. Read on for more information about training programs and classes in medical science.

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Essential Information

Medical science courses are primarily available through Master of Arts in Medical Sciences programs. These programs are commonly designed for current healthcare practitioners and aspiring researchers. Students learn about common issues facing doctors, the effectiveness of drugs and the way individuals receive care throughout the U.S. healthcare system. Classes in pathology, biostatistics and bioethics may be included as well. Students of medical science usually also complete a clinical practicum in a healthcare setting.

List of Classes

Check out some common classes in a medical science program.

Healthcare Systems in the United States Course

Students taking this introductory course in medical science become familiar with the way healthcare systems are set up in the United States. Past changes to the healthcare system - and potential future changes - are explored. Students look at how healthcare systems play a role in the economy, politics and industry. They examine increasing costs and consider what the system accomplishes. Professors often devote time to comparing the U.S. healthcare system to systems in other countries.

Medical Pathology Course

This medical science course examines the anatomy and physiology of the body, but also covers other topics relating to disease and infection, such as inflammation and oncology. Students examine disease indicators and treatments. Usually, the course provides basic information about a number of diseases; in the lab portion of the class, students recognize and identify diseases from slides or sample blood tests.

Biostatistics Course

In this intermediate course, students examine the statistics related to diseases and their normal distribution. They study the percentage of the population with a certain disease or disorder, then discuss the percentage of that population that various treatments help. The course usually incorporates both theories of testing methods and practical applications. Typically, the course covers the use of more than one statistical analysis system.

Pharmacology Course

Students taking this course examine how drugs work to attack various diseases. They study commonly prescribed medications, learning what they do, what side effects are possible and which drugs can't be mixed. The class discusses reasons to use drugs to treat a condition even when the side effects could be bad for the patient. The course also covers the problem of people developing immunity to a drug or set of drugs.

Bioethics Course

Students taking this advanced course study the relationship between the medical practitioner and the patient, becoming familiar with inappropriate and appropriate interactions. Social, ethical and moral issues that physicians face, such as abortion, genetic testing, euthanasia and reproductive control, are introduced. Students examine the physician's role in each of these issues and discuss how the physician is responsible to society, the patient and the profession.

Clinical Practicum in Medical Science Course

This practical course provides the opportunity for students to gain experience working in a hospital, clinic or doctor's office in a patient-care capacity. Students observe other medical practitioners working with patients and might take patient histories. They learn what different physicians do and how medical staff treat and interact with patients. The basic responsibilities of each care provider in the healthcare system are also introduced.

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    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
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