Pathways Programs

The Pathways Programs in the MD Degree

The Pathways Programs at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are parallel programs designed to provide individualized enrichment experiences for students with interest or expertise in pursuits beyond the core curriculum. We have six Pathways that are currently active:

  • Advocacy and Public Health Pathway - new for AY 21-22!
  • Andrew B. Kaufman World Medicine Pathway
  • Humanities Pathway
  • Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway
  • Nancy M. Mueller Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship Pathway
  • Urban Health Pathway

Each Pathway has a unique curriculum. On average, Pathway students meet weekly or biweekly in the pre-clerkship phase to explore content and complete mentored projects or scholarly activities in the Pathway. Dual degree-seeking students in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine are unable to participate in the Pathways.

Advocacy and Public Health Pathway

The Advocacy and Public Health Pathway will support, develop and sustain students’ professional commitment to advocacy. The first five weeks of the core curriculum provides all students a solid foundation in epidemiology, biostatistics, bioethics, health systems science and health disparities. This introduction to the complex determinants of health, how social and environmental factors impact health and the value and importance of public health, provides a basic understanding of how physicians can act as advocates for patients within healthcare and public health systems. Through a framework of interprofessional experiences developed in partnership with multiple community organizations, The Advocacy and Public Health Pathway builds on this foundation, providing additional training for students interested in exploring the multitude of ways physicians can leverage their power and expertise to support the social, economic and political change necessary to improve the health of populations.

Faculty Lead: Vanessa Maier, MD
Email: VanessaMaier@case.edu


Andrew B. Kaufman World Medicine Pathway

The Andrew B. Kaufman World Medicine Pathway will prepare medical students for advanced training and careers that address global health challenges. A foundational curriculum during the pre-clerkship years will focus on building knowledge, skills, and attitudes through a series of expert-led seminars, simulations, and other unique experiences. Students will then have a mentored experience in the clinical years focused on biomedical research, clinical care, capacity building, or global health policy/advocacy, which will include international elective time with funding support.

Co-Faculty Lead: Chris Longenecker, MD
Email: Chris.Longenecker@case.edu

Co-Faculty Lead: Suet Kam Lam, MD, MPH, MS
Email: skl48@case.edu

Visit the Andrew B. Kaufman World Medicine Pathway website


Humanities Pathway

(including the history of medicine, the arts, and social medicine). 

The Humanities Pathway explores the fundamental questions of what it is to be human and to be a healthcare professional. Students in the Humanities Pathway will think critically about the complex interplay among patients, health care professionals, and culture. They will develop innovative and informed approaches to health, well-being, and quality of life for the patients and communities they serve, while developing resilience and passion to improve the culture of medicine.

Faculty lead: Erin Gentry Lamb, PhD
Email: erin.lamb@case.edu

Visit the Humanities Pathway website


Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway

(Including nutrition, exercise, and culinary and lifestyle medicine) 

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway prepare students for excellence in the field of multidimensional and holistic wellness, equipping them with the knowledge and training to encourage healthy lifestyles. Content includes a speaker series, practical applications in healthy cooking, relaxation techniques and more, which will help participants understand and appreciate wellness that encompasses mind, body, and spirit, as well as social and environmental factors. 

Co-Faculty Lead: Hope Barkoukis, PhD 
Email: Hope.Barkoukis@case.edu

Co-Faculty Lead: Stephanie Harris, PhD, RDN, LD
Email: stephanie.harris@case.edu

Visit the Mandel Wellness Pathway website


Nancy M. Mueller Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship Pathway

The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is pleased to offer the Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship Pathway.  Innovation and aligned entrepreneurial activities are increasingly focused upon as required value-drivers in patient care, healthcare economics, and regional economic development. The changing landscape of healthcare resulting from an aging population and economic reform imparts needs for new approaches to care that is more effective, informed and reasonable. Critically, innovation opportunities rarely come from silos; rather, modern innovation opportunities emanate from a hands-on understanding of current needs. This course reflects the belief across the healthcare operation, to serve as conduits of innovation and change. The course seeks participation from a select group of students who will receive instruction and mentorship from the School of Medicine leadership and advisors to assess and, potentially, develop new solutions to important healthcare problems.

Co-Faculty Lead: Mahmoud Ghannoum, PhD, MBA, FIDSA, FAAM
Email: mahmoud.ghannoum@case.edu

Co-Faculty Lead: Joseph "Joe" Jankowski, PhD
Email: joseph.jankowski@case.edu


Urban Health Pathway

(including health policy, health advocacy, and caring for medically vulnerable populations) 

The Urban Health Pathway allows students to develop a meaningful focus on their role as doctors in urban communities. Community experts, patients, and mentors will illuminate real-life health concerns as students take part in skill-building opportunities, leadership development, community engagement and clinical rotations tailored to urban health. 

Faculty lead: Lisa Navracruz, MD 
Email: lisa.navracruz@case.edu