Medicine as a Career Choice: Thinking Like a Doctor

Open to students entering grades 9 through 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
III - August 10th – August 14th, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 10:10 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 2:10–4:00 p.m.
Pamela Eliach, Adam Hill, Rafael Pajaro

“Our class was pretty causal, and for me this promoted learning and made me less anxious to ask questions when I was confused.” – From a program course evaluation

Course Description

Becoming a physician—mastering the intricacies of the human body and working to heal when illness occurs—has long been considered a noble pursuit, but it’s not all guts and glory. It takes a particular kind of mind; one that can focus on the smallest details while keeping the big picture in sight. A doctor must see the forest and the trees.

This course is an investigation into how a physician thinks. This unique world is dissected through brain games, interactive lectures, thought experiments, and group projects. Discussion also covers what it takes to get into medical school, what it’s like to go through medical school and residency, and what it means to be a doctor in today’s society.

Potential topics to be discussed include the following:

  • Logic and reasoning
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Human psychology and its influence
  • The crossroads of media, myth, and medicine
  • Ethics
  • Malpractice
  • Medicine's history and future

Participants gain a deeper knowledge of the medical world as well as what it takes to think like a doctor—and acquire mental tools that can be utilized in any aspect of life.


Pamela Eliach

Pamela Eliach is an internist with over 25 years of experience in settings ranging from small private practices to large academic institutions and including resident and medical student supervision and education. She holds an M.D. from New York Medical College and a master’s degree in Health Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology from Weill Cornell Medical College. Pamela is currently the Senior Clerkship Advisor for the Primary Care Clinical Clerkship at Weill Cornell Medical College. She is very interested in the doctor-patient relationship, including the use of motivational counseling for behavior change.

Adam Hill

Adam Hill is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He earned his medical degree from Loyola University, Chicago, prior to completing his residency in emergency medicine at Mount Sinai. He currently divides his practice between the emergency departments at Elmhurst Hospital Center, a level-one trauma center in Queens affiliated with Mount Sinai, and Alice Hyde Medical Center, a critical access hospital in rural, upstate New York. He is active in resident and medical student education and is director of the Wilderness Medicine Student Elective and Residency Specialty Track through the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Hill is a fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, holding additional training and knowledge related to medical emergencies in remote environments.

Rafael Pajaro

Dr. Rafael Pajaro holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and an M.D. and M.S. from New York Medical College. A physician specializing in internal medicine, he is licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and California. Rafael has focused his career on the management of hospitalized patients and teaching medical students and resident physicians in training. He has taught at Sidney Kimmel College at Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and has been honored with a number of awards for his teaching. Dr. Pajaro considers himself fortunate to have pursued his passions for both internal medicine and teaching.

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.