A Step in the Right Direction For Evolutionary Medicine in Education

Considering it’s the last day of classes, I have been a little retrospective about our time this semester, and considering the importance of this course in general. I think it is great that this course is a part of Emory’s curriculum, and that many other universities are also adapting this kind of course in its biological education. What I found extremely exciting in terms of introducing Darwinian Medicine into undergraduate pre-medical education was how UCLA announced that since Fall 2013, they started Evolutionary Medicine as a minor for undergraduate students. This to me, is a great step forward for UCLA and a step towards the right direction for many other universities (such as ours) to follow in its footsteps.

Looking at the basic requirements, the minor would require 3 core classes:

1)      Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity

2)      Intro to Ecology and Behavior

3)      Evolutionary Medicine

Apart from that, there would be 4 to 5 courses chosen from an incredibly diverse array of classes. These range from anthropology and physiological science to Community Health and Sociology. Other areas of elective courses include genetics, philosophy, sociology, and social welfare. The minor also has a research or internship requirement for an additional semester.

What, to me, sets this minor apart from the other minors that I have seen, is first a class directly geared towards medical practice and framework, and second the vast array of disciplines the minor covers. We as a class have discovered that evolutionary medicine includes a plethora of disciplines but to see that students will truly experience this interdisciplinary education is truly exciting. What other minor/major can allow you to choose from 17 different disciplines? Emory, take note!



UCLA introduces new evolutionary medicine minor. (n.d.). Daily Bruin. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://dailybruin.com/2013/09/30/ucla-introduces-new-evolutionary-medicine-minor/

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