Duluth Medical Student Courses

Required Courses

Clinical Pathology Conference I

Instructor: Alan Johns, MD, MEd

  • Learn how to identify major medical concerns from a case
  • Develop skills in presenting a clinical case
  • Appropriately develop differential diagnosis

Clinical Pathology Conference II

Instructor: Alan Johns, MD, MEd

  • An extension of Clinical Pathology Conference I
  • Apply knowledge gained in pathology and laboratory medicine to an unknown clinical case
  • Work through a differential diagnosis in a small group setting, followed by a group presentation

Community Clinical Medicine

Instructor: Ryan Harden, MD, MS

  • Gain various clinical experiences in hospitals, nursing homes, the operating room, labor and delivery
  • Work through several mini-rotations: OB, surgery, pediatrics, interprofessional, and two medicine blocks
  • Practice physical dignosis skills and develop confidence in clinical skills

Introduction to Rural Family Medicine

Instructor: Ruth Westra, DO, MPH

  • Your first exposure to the clinical side of medicine
  • Learn how to elicit a concise, pertinent patient medical history
  • Consists of lectures, physical exam teaching sessions, small group discussions, and a site visit to a rural Minnesota community

Rural Medical Scholars Program

Instructors: Ray Christensen, MD, and Emily Onello, MD

  • Divided into three different sections, a week at a time in January, April, and June
  • Go to small communities to practice skills and learn what it's like to be a small town physician
  • Paired with local family physicians


Healer's Art

Instructor: Jennifer Pearson, MD

  • Large group exercises and small group discussions about the balance between life and death and what roles medical professionals play
  • Meets off-campus, most likely at a manor in East Duluth
  • No quizzes and no presentations

Medical Education Through Diversity and Service

  • Lectures and small group activities where students explore key topics in global and population health
  • Opportunity to identify and participate in international health experiences in the summer following participation in the course
  • Visit us on Facebook

Obstetrical Longitudinal Course

Instructors: Ruth Westra, DO, MPH, and Jennifer Pearson, MD

  • Follow a pregnant woman through prenatal visits, labor and delivery, postpartum and newborn care with her family physician or OB specialist
  • Learn about prenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum care, and newborn care
  • Experience the rewards of having continuous contact with a patient

Rural Academy of Leadership

Instructors: Ruth Westra, DO, MPH, and Ray Christensen, MD

  • Volunteer in the community and complete a service project at an organization of your choice
  • Elective is paired with the Health of People Everywhere (HOPE) Clinic, a free student-run clinic in downtown Duluth
  • Attend lectures and discussions related to community service and being a community leader

Seminars in American Indian Health

  • Two-year elective course, one credit per year
  • Learn the differences and simliarities of medicine in diverse communities, cultures, and the general population
  • Recognize the importance of and encourage cultural awareness in health care

Summer Internship in Medicine Program

Coordinator: Ray Christensen, MD

  • Offered to first-year medical students (held in the summer between the first and second year)
  • Work directly with hospital/clinic personnel in rural communities
  • Gain exposure to rural medicine and experience life as a rural health professional
  • Limited research projects provide another summer experience through this program under the direction of James Boulger, PhD
  • More on the SIM Program