Course Descriptions (Year 2)

Course Descriptions (Year 2)

Human Embryology

In Human Embryology, students will learn about the embryonic development of the major organ systems and associated congenital abnormalities. We will take an integrated approach, studying embryology in parallel with the relevant human anatomy material to help students gain a better understanding of both areas of study.

In addition to descriptive embryology, which teaches the dynamics of morphogenesis and organogenesis, we’ll introduce the underlying molecular mechanisms, i.e., the genetic programs that regulate developmental processes. Through this study, students will understand the origins of both individual birth defects and congenital syndromes with diverse and apparently unrelated phenotypes.

Human Anatomy

Human anatomy is the core discipline running throughout your second year. MSIH uses the systems-based method of teaching, with an emphasis on medical-anatomical concepts and structural relationships in the body. The Human Anatomy course is divided into four sections: head and neck, chest (thorax), abdomen and pelvis, and limbs. As students move through each section, they will study the related body systems in parallel.

Teaching methods include lectures, cadaver dissection, computer-assisted instruction, advanced imaging and cross-sectional anatomy.

Another critical component of learning will be continuous guidance from senior medical students in the role of teaching assistants within the dissection laboratory — an innovation developed at BGU due to our close-knit community of students. These specially trained assistants use their advanced clinical experience and deep understanding of human anatomy to support second-year students. Together with the course coordinators, they will guide and mentor second-year students as they progress through their training.

Head and Neck


This course provides an in-depth overview of neuroanatomy with a special emphasis on relationships to both normal human function and dysfunction resulting from maldevelopment or injury to the nervous system. Students will demonstrate understanding of the structure, topography and function of the brain and spinal cord; the functional anatomy of the motor and sensory pathways; and the higher cerebral functions such as language and emotions.


Cardiovascular System

This course starts with the fundamentals of physiology, histology, pathology and embryology, and includes lectures, laboratory work, and computer simulations and exercises.

Building on these fundamentals, the course will cover each of the main areas of clinical cardiology, including valve disease, pericardial and myocardial disease, congestive heart failure, and ischemic heart disease (from a subcellular level to clinical syndromes, with a view of international cardiology). The electrical system of the heart — from a subcellular level to clinical arrhythmia and conduction defects — will be reviewed through lectures, as well as small-group sessions for PBLS and ECG exercises.

Other subjects include cardiovascular pharmacology, congenital heart disease, preventive aspects of cardiology, gender differences in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery.

Respiratory System

In this course, students will learn about the process of breathing (oxygenation and ventilation); pulmonary, clinical and pathological disorders; and how to incorporate lab findings into clinical problem-solving.

Students will gain a solid understanding of the embryology of the lung and complete an in-depth study of lung physiology. Throughout the course, students will study pediatric and adult respiratory diseases and their relationship to structure and function.

Abdomen and Pelvis

Gastrointestinal System

Gastroenterology is a system of internal medicine that interfaces with surgery. It is multifaceted, involving inflammatory, infectious, neoplastic, autoimmune, metabolic and functional disorders, and includes the biliary system and the liver. This course includes:

  • Lectures and discussion sessions devoted to case studies, with an emphasis on a clinical approach to gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Laboratories and lectures that cover subjects such as physiology of the GI tract, GI diseases and GI cancer
  • Malabsorption, diseases of the pancreas and liver, and exposure to endoscopic procedures

Students will complete presentations on global health aspects of GI disease.

Nephrology System

In this course, students will learn through a series of lectures and accompanying case-based seminars, as well as though laboratory experience. The course is divided into two parts. In part one, students will gain the physiological and pathophysiological background for dealing with renal disease. During the second part of the course, students will develop extensive knowledge of the clinical spectrum of kidney disease and hypertension.

Reproductive System

In this course, students will build knowledge and experience in the areas of obstetrics, gynecology and fertility.


Musculoskeletal System

This course begins with the fundamentals of histology, pathology, biochemistry and immunology, and includes frontal lectures, laboratory work and computer simulations. Building on these fundamentals, we will cover each of the main areas of the musculoskeletal system. Students will also learn about imaging of rheumatic diseases, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, biologic therapies and corticosteroids.


In this preclinical course, students will gain a broad understanding of clinical psychiatry, as well as some aspects of psychology and behavioral sciences. Teaching methods include lectures, interdisciplinary seminars and occasional self-study. Highlights of this course include exploration of the role of cultural sensitivity in psychiatry, international psychiatry and forensic psychiatry.

Global Health

Required GH Courses

Clinical Communication Skills

In this course, students will learn basic physical examination and patient interview techniques. They will also learn to conduct clinical interviews while practicing their Hebrew language skills, and working to refine the basic Hebrew acquired in their first year as they transition to Clinical Hebrew.

Students will learn to use the knowledge acquired throughout their studies and apply it to patient interactions, conducting physical examinations, and performing skilled and efficient clinical interviews.

The Healer’s Art: Awakening the Heart of Medicine

The Healer’s Art is an extracurricular course that addresses highly personal and individual issues, such as the fundamental sense of meaning underlying a student’s commitment to medicine. The course was designed by Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen at the University of California, San Francisco, and has been adopted by over 90 U.S. medical schools.

The course is experiential in nature and is based on the discovery model. It does not “teach” in the standard sense, and our goal in the course is not to provide answers. Instead, faculty and students come together to form a community interested in investigation, and in non-judgmental sharing of personal experiences and insights on topics such as “Sharing Grief and Healing Loss” and “Allowing Awe in Medicine.”

Through this course, we aim to help students reinforce their own unique sense of commitment and meaning in dedicating their future to the service of others. This, in turn, will help to protect students from professional burnout and personal disillusionment, so that they may have long and fulfilling careers as doctors.

Global Health Electives

During your second year, you will take the two required global health courses listed above. You will also choose two additional global health modules.

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