"Selectives" are classes outside of the standard curriculum of the School of Medicine that allow students to create a customized, independent experience.

Selectives are generally taught in small groups and cover a variety of specialized topics.

For more information on the Selective Program, please contact School of Medicine Registrar Cheri Black at (951) 827-4334 or

Emergency Medicine

Emergency medicine is one of the fastest growing medical specialties today, yet students at many medical schools receive little exposure to it before having to make residency decisions during their fourth year. This selective introduces emergency medicine to interested UCR students through interactive workshops, guest speakers, movie screenings, opportunities to attend conferences and other educational activities.

Workshops focus on particular skills used by emergency physicians, incorporating mannikins and other practice equipment. Past workshops have taught endotracheal intubation, cricothyrotomy, emergency ultrasound techniques, IV placement, dressing and splinting wounds, code blue response and problem-solving cardiac emergencies as well as other skills. Residency directors and attending physicians from local EM residency programs have spoken on various topics, including advantages and disadvantages of working in emergency medical services, how to get into EM residencies, resident lifestyle, and how to shine during third and fourth year EM rotations. Students have also attended local Southern California EM conferences.

The selective is run by student members of the UCR Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG); all members are invited to contribute their ideas for events. Completion of the course requires a minimum of sixteen hours of contact time. Students who successfully do so will receive one credit and have it listed on their transcript as evidence of their interest in emergency medicine.

The class is facilitated by Michael Sequeira, M.D.

Healthcare Management and Policy Journal Club

Medical students frequently enter residency programs and their career practices with limited knowledge about healthcare management and policy. They often struggle with the business and operations side of medicine as practicing physicians, and frequently have a poor understanding of how our nation’s healthcare “non-system” is logistically structured. It is of vital importance, especially in today’s health care world, that the modern medical student be aware of current healthcare management and policy issues, and how it will affect them moving forward.

The selective is structured as a Journal Club, where the faculty director facilitates lively discussions on current healthcare management topics. Publications will be reviewed by the medical students and presented to the rest of the group. The class then discusses the important aspects of each article as they are presented and how these issues are relevant to our nation’s health care and individual physician practice. Examples of publications that will be reviewed include, but are not limited to: Physicians Practice, Family Practice News, Medical Economics, and JAMA.

The Journal Club meets five times in the fall and five times in the winter during the lunch hour, from 12 noon – 1 PM, and the selective may be taken for credit. In order to see if medical students are gaining useful knowledge about healthcare management and policy, a pre- and post-selective survey will be given, which will ask students about several health care-related items.

The class is taught by Michael Nduati, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H.

Medical Professionalism: The social contract and ethical conflicts in the real world of medical practice

The aim of the course will be to give students grounding in the essential elements of the calling of medicine as a profession and an introduction to contemporary ethical issues using real world examples culled from their experiences in clinical and human rights work.

Topics include ethical and professional challenges in detention settings (jails, prisons) immigration detention, and national security settings. An orientation to medical ethics and physician advocacy is included. The selective includes a session on individual written reflection as a pathway to professionalism. This selective will have five (5) 90-minute meetings and may be taken for credit.

The class is taught by Scott Allen, M.D., and Larry Loo, M.D.

Medical Spanish

The Medical Spanish selective is an optional, student-run medical school course that is offered to students who are interested in either learning how to or to improve communication with patients who are Spanish speaking.

Multiple small group workshops are offered which review basic conversational Spanish, how to conduct a complete history and physical examination in Spanish, as well as several workshops on common presenting complaints. Other in-person experiences include modules, at the beginner, intermediate or advanced level, where students conduct mock interviews and receive immediate feedback on their medical Spanish delivery.  The selective also includes several lunch sessions where students are able to participate in informal one-on-one sessions with native Spanish speakers. 

The class is taught by Ann M. Cheney, Ph.D.

Ultrasound Student Instructor

The purpose of the Ultrasound Student Instructor Selective is to educate second year (MS2) and third year (MS3) medical students as student instructors (SI). The SIs will introduce basic concepts, uses, strengths and weaknesses of medical US to first year medical students while reinforcing these same foundational US subjects for the MS2s and MS3s.

This selective is structured in two directions. Enrolled MS1s and MS2s will receive specific instruction in ultrasound utilization and its integration into clinical practice. SIs will also receive exposure to foundational learning theories and instruction in teaching techniques. The SI cadre will receive guidance and training under the mentorship and supervision of the selective faculty advisor.

SI duties include the following: facilitate a discussion section or tutorial; design and review assignments, exams, or projects; keep records; distribute and copy reading materials; prepare answer keys or supplementary notes; and act as the course web-master. TAs may be required to attend the instructor's lecture regularly.

MS2s willing to become an active part of this selective must be in good academic standing. Their actions regarding point of care ultrasound must reflect the involvement, dedication, and enthusiasm being a technical instructor and peer educator requires.

The class is taught by Christopher Miller, C.H.S.E., M.I.S.P., M.S.C.P.