Course Description

The MPAC program elective provides students with an opportunity to learn, practice and apply knowledge and skills as physician healthcare leaders and advocates.  Students will engage in healthcare advocacy to improve healthcare for patients and communities and to improve the health systems that deliver care. Working with organized medicine, students will author resolutions and meet with governmental leaders to present and advocate for reforms to decrease health disparities. Students will learn about use of media as a tool for advocacy and learn about philanthropy as it relates to healthcare. 

Through participation in community outreach and service, students will develop an understanding of community programs, how they improve the health and wellness of their participants, and fill gaps in healthcare and other systems.  These real-world experiences will provide students with opportunities to understand the role of healthcare advocacy and reform to improve the health of patients and communities.

The program also provides a primer on leadership development, motivating medical students to begin their first steps of developing their leadership style.  In addition to primary lecture on leadership development topics, the program also brings in regional and nationally recognized leaders to stimulate conversation and demonstrate leadership effectiveness.

The course also emphasizes the need for students to develop their professional identity as a physician-in-training by dressing professionally, arriving on time, behaving professionally, and demonstrating respect to their patients, peers, colleagues, supervisors and others, by maintaining professional conduct and composure when conflict occurs. 

Major and minor topics to be covered

  1. Leadership development
  2. Health care policy
  3. Healthcare finance
  4. Health systems
  5. Health advocacy and reform
  6. Health disparities
  7. Organized medicine
  8. Government community relations
  9. Media relations
  10. Community programs
  11. Philanthropy
  12. Professionalism

Learning Objectives/outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of health care policy, delivery system reform, and health system finance
  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the social determinants of health, prevailing health disparities, population health modality, and role of public health institutions
  3. Describe how advocacy can be used to improve health disparities
  4. Describe effective advocacy strategies and techniques

Method(s) of instruction

  • Lectures and didactics
  • Small group discussion
  • Active learning during community outreach and service

Grading policies for tests, assignments, and attendance

To pass the course:

  1. Students must attend 11 lectures (can be exempt from 1 class with cause)
  2. Student must complete 10 hours of community outreach, which can include advocacy
  3. Student must complete 10 hours of advocacy outreach by attending the Lansing Advocacy Day
  4. Complete final survey to provide programmatic feedback.

Specific descriptions of the criteria and methods to be used in evaluating/grading student performance

Course grade will be determined by:

Students will be evaluating on their level of participation in lectures, advocacy opportunities, external projects, and completion of written reflection assignments.  Students will be required to develop a leadership development plan.

Inclusion of [tentative] due dates for assignments, exams, and papers.

 Written reflection assignments will be required for a few lectures.  Students will need to submit a written leadership development plan at the end of the semester.