Course description:

We will all remember the first patient who dies under our care. This course intends to provide an overview of what it means to live, to die, and to mourn in our positions as people who will interact with death both personally and professionally. Topics will cover how we define, approach, and care for both life and death from biomedical, sociocultural, psychosocial, and ethical standpoints. We discuss topics ranging from palliative care and acute trauma, to neonatal and maternal care, to life-limiting circumstances in neurology and mental health.



We aim to empower students to prepare themselves for the emotional, logistical, and professional heavy lifting surrounding death and dying. Importantly, we emphasize that the end of life is not the end of love, care and meaning.


Format: one semester, 14 classes, 12 are one hour and 2 are 1.5 hours each. Classes will consist of instructor or guest presentations followed by group discussion of that day’s topics.


Student evaluation: grades will be pass/fail. Attendance is required to receive credit for the course. To receive transcript acknowledgment, students must attend 10 out of the 15 participant hours and complete the online REDCap course evaluation form.

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