Prerequisite Requirements

  • Completion of MedPrep I (Bio 2651)
  • Must be a full-time WashU undergraduate or a student enrolled in the WashU Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program
  • Not currently enrolled in PEMRAP (Bio 2652) or PEMRAP II (Bio 2658)
  • In the summer semester, MedPrep I may be taken concurrently with MedPrep II

(L41) Biol 2654 – MedPrep II – The Shadowing Experience: Emergency Medicine

Objective #1 – To give students a real world, behind-the-scenes view of clinical medicine.

For four hours every other week, students enrolled in MedPrep II shadow physicians, residents, and medical students in the Charles F. Knight Emergency and Trauma Center of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the main teaching hospital of the Washington University School of Medicine.

This 52,000 sq. ft., 70 bed Level I trauma center offers students an experience like no other. Standing side-by-side with the emergency physicians and trauma surgeons of Washington University, students witness firsthand the evaluation and treatment of both routine medical problems and life-threatening emergencies.

In MedPrep II students have the freedom to schedule shadowing shifts in a very flexible manner using a sophisticated on-line scheduling system designed specifically for this course. This enables students to reserve a shift that will be theirs for the entire semester while still giving them the ability to change their shifts on a weekly basis to accommodate their own busy schedules. They have the flexibility to vary their shadowing times between weekdays and weekends or days and evenings in order to get the best experience possible and are permitted to add a shift during their regularly assigned week or even in their off-week, space permitting.

A one-hour class session is held every week on the Danforth campus that covers topics relevant to the clinical nature of this course. Students are required to attend these classes but are excused for any conflicting evening exams or medical school interviews. Because of the material covered, attendance at the 2-hour orientation session (first class) is absolutely required. No excused absences will be granted for any reason for this orientation session, including illness or emergency. For the fall and spring semesters, successful completion of MedPrep I is required to take MedPrep II. During the summer semester, however, students are permitted to take MedPrep I and II concurrently.

Students who register for the course must understand that the course can be suspended at any time, either before or during the semester, depending on the COVID-19 situation.

Objective #2 – To educate students on how Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Emergency Department serves as a major safety net for the city of St. Louis.

Students read about issues of E.D. overcrowding and problems with access to healthcare but few get to witness first-hand the real challenges faced by healthcare professionals on a daily basis. Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine take pride in the fact that we offer world class emergency care to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. In fact, Barnes-Jewish Hospital serves as the major provider of emergency care for the uninsured and underinsured of St. Louis, serving as a safety net for those who might otherwise go without any care at all.

Objective #3 – To let students see how medical students and residents are trained at one of the nation’s premier teaching hospitals.

By interacting with medical students and residents at all levels, students enrolled in MedPrep II get a chance to see the actual process of medical training itself. Working one-on-one with a different medical student and/or resident each shift, the MedPrep student will have the opportunity to ask questions not just about the medical problems they are witnessing but any topic relevant to a future career in medicine. Students will see how attending physicians guide their residents and medical students through the thought process of arriving at a differential diagnosis and treatment plan and how they lead a medical team. Nothing gives the student a better glimpse of their life in the future than this experience.

Objective #4 – To help students decide if medicine is the right career for them.

MedPrep II will help students decide if medicine is the right career for them while giving them experience in a busy hospital setting. This is why medical schools consider shadowing an important component of the medical school preparation. Nothing can take the place of experience. MedPrep II will give students an experience they will never forget. Since 2005 MedPrep students have been a familiar and welcomed presence in the Emergency and Trauma Center of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. We are looking forward to having you!