Medicine as a Career Choice: Thinking Like a Doctor

III. August 8–12, 2022
Day & Time:
Monday–Friday, 11:10 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 3:10–5:00 p.m.
Pamela Eliach, Shibrah Jamil, Jessica Simkins, Prashant Vaishnava

“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. She is very interested in the doctor-patient relationship, including the use of motivational counseling for behavior change.

Shibrah Jamil

Shibrah Jamil, a board-certified anesthesiologist who completed her residency at Mount Sinai Hospital, is the founding chairperson of SMJ Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to improving health and education in economically disenfranchised communities. She volunteers for Doctors of the World Human Rights Clinic and actively supports UNICEF’s initiatives to improve maternal health. Shibrah holds an MD from SUNY Downstate and has over 15 years of experience as a practicing anesthesiologist in a variety of settings. As a medical student she interned with Indian Health Services in South Dakota and participated in a Health Care in Developing Countries elective in Kikuyu Hospital in Kenya.

Jessica Simkins

Dr. Jessica Simkins is a general pediatrician at WestMed in New Rochelle, New York. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Florida and her Master in Public Health degree in the field of social and behavioral sciences from Yale University. Jessica completed her residency training in pediatrics at Washington University/St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Since graduation she has gained experience in general pediatric fields including school health, foster care pediatrics, and newborn medicine. Jessica is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a graduate of the Young Physician’s Leadership Alliance. 

Prashant Vaishnava

Dr. Prashant Vaishnava is a cardiologist and assistant professor at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, where he has also served as the Director for Quality Assurance. He completed medical school through the combined BS/MD Medical Scholars Program at Michigan State University and completed internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, followed by training in cardiovascular disease at the Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Vaishnava holds various editorial positions, including Senior Editor and Lead Online Editor for Hurst's The Heart. 

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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.