May 24, 2015
2
0
Hey All,

I am trying to create a Newborn and Early Infant Care elective at my school, and I would like to know if any other medical schools have similar courses. The elective is meant to provide medical students with the experience of directly caring for a newborn or infant during their first 12 weeks of life. This will help students to better understand the daily responsibilities during this stage of development, as well as provide insight into the life of a new parent and the challenges that they face. There will be academic components to the course such as submitting reflective papers, writing a review of a popular parenting book, and completing a presentation in which they share their experience with their peers, among other things. The elective will be open to both parents and non-parents who will be the primary caregiver of an infant, but they must provide the child (i.e. it will be the student's child or they have permission from someone they know to be the primary caregiver for their child).

I recently created and took this course as a special elective with my son. One of my classmates, who is a non-parent, also completed this elective and was the primary caregiver for my son for two weeks when I returned to clinical rotations. I am trying to make this an official course at our school to be included in our Course Catalog, but our Curriculum Development committee would like to know if other medical schools have similar courses. (I know that many residency programs have New Parent electives, but the committee is only interested in medical schools). I would appreciate anyone who could help me out with this so that I can hopefully make this an opportunity available to more students. Thank you!
 

Staphylococcus Aureus

2+ Year Member
Dec 26, 2016
389
647
So you became a parent, took time off to care and fulfilled academic requirements and it was approved as an elective? Can you elaborate on how the approval process worked? I have not heard of this in med schools but Duke has this:

Unique Program Aspects | Duke Department of Pediatrics

''Newborn Care Rotation

The newborn rotation is an elective that can be taken as part of parental leave. The focus of the rotation will be on normal newborn care and resources in the community available to babies and their parents. The rotation will be up to one block in length and will be free from call and weekend duties. Residents on the rotation still attend their weekly continuity clinic.''
 
OP
B
May 24, 2015
2
0
So you became a parent, took time off to care and fulfilled academic requirements and it was approved as an elective? Can you elaborate on how the approval process worked? I have not heard of this in med schools but Duke has this:

Unique Program Aspects | Duke Department of Pediatrics

''Newborn Care Rotation

The newborn rotation is an elective that can be taken as part of parental leave. The focus of the rotation will be on normal newborn care and resources in the community available to babies and their parents. The rotation will be up to one block in length and will be free from call and weekend duties. Residents on the rotation still attend their weekly continuity clinic.''
Thank you for your reply and the link! Yes, the elective was approved as a special elective, which is basically a personal elective just for me. The process is fairly simple at our school, where you submit a one-page proposal. If you find a course director that supports your course and the department approves it (in this case Pediatrics), then the course is approved. My classmate who is a non-parent designed his course like mine and was approved similarly. In his course, he cared for my son for 50 hours each week for two weeks, read a parenting book and completed a book review, wrote 2 narrative reflections, and gave a presentation to our classmates about what he learned from his experience. There was no pushback for either of our electives from the Pediatrics department, as they felt this experience would be valuable to future patient/parent interactions, and our school offers a similar course in the residency program.

However, to be included in the Course Catalog and offered as an elective to anyone, there is a very rigorous process that must be completed, and the proposal must go through various curriculum development committees before being approved. Our committee mainly has reservations and concerns about what credit hours would be awarded for the course (e.g. whether it is 1 credit per week or 1/2), so they asked me to find out if any other medical schools offer a similar elective. I have not found any so far, but I am hoping that there are some out there!