A Life in Medicine: Health Care Seminar Series

Instructor: Grant Hartzog, UC Santa Cruz Professor, Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology

Course Code: PBSV.802

Cost: $1,050

  • Start: Oct. 9, 2023
  • End: Dec. 11, 2023
  • Day: Mondays
  • Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. PT

Enroll in A Life in Medicine


In this weekly interprofessional seminar series featuring discussions with visiting medical professionals, we will explore the structure, strengths, and weaknesses of the healthcare system in the United States. We will focus on practical, solution-based perspectives relating to the opportunities and challenges in primary care areas such as family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, combined internal medicine/pediatrics, and general obstetrics and gynecology. Seminars will serve as a forum for interprofessional small-group research projects and presentations.

Additionally, this course seeks to prepare students for career-related challenges and strengthen awareness of solutions to these obstacles as they embark upon a life in medicine.

This course, co-created by the UCSC Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Department, is taught via UCSC Silicon Valley Extension to support postbaccalaureate students in successfully launching their premed studies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate understanding of primary care specialties and necessary academic preparation and skills requirements for primary care practitioners.
  • Create a career plan for your chosen medical profession.
  • Describe the challenges faced by patients and providers in medically underserved communities.
  • Interpret guidance and advice from active and/or retired medical professionals and medical students.


  • Medical school expectations
  • The financial structure of medicine in the U.S.
  • Where does the money come from, where does it go?
  • Osteopathic vs. allopathic medical education
  • Medical Specialties (i.e.: primary care providers)
  • Medical career arcs: residency, fellowship, practice
  • Legal considerations of medical practice
  • Medical ethics
  • Staying within your scope of practice
  • Using evidence-based medicine for legal protection
  • Speaking with patients

Recommended Course Sequence

For students who aim to apply to medical school in 2024, please note when courses will be taught.