25 Essential Open Courseware Classes on Medicine (That Anyone Can Learn From)


Open courseware classes are becoming more and more common as online learning continues to gain popularity. They consist of educational materials offered online, and they are available for anyone to access and learn from. Some of the best universities in the country are now providing free access to fantastic course materials; audio, video, and text documents. If you are interested in learning more about medicine, or expanding your already extensive body of knowledge for the benefit of your medical career, then open courseware classes are perfect for you. The fact that they are free and easily accessible makes it an even better idea to check them out. The following list of 25 open courseware classes cover a range of important topics in medicine that anyone can learn from.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT’s courseware offerings are universally considered to be amongst the best of the web. MIT was the first major university to start offering its extensive body of knowledge to the general public, and has since started a fantastic trend.

  1. Genomics, Computing, Economics, and Society – One important thing about medicine is understanding how it fits in with society as a whole. This course, taught by Professor George Church seeks to help impress this idea upon students.
  2. Introduction to Neuroscience – Many people consider Neuroscience to be one of the most interesting and challenging areas of medicine.
  3. Narrative Ethics: Literary Texts and Moral Issues in Medicine – Morality and medicine go hand in hand. If you are attempting to save lives, cure disease, or anything else in the medical profession, than moral dilemmas may certainly occur. This class seeks to cover these ideas through the lens of history.
  4. Genomics and Computational Biology – Professor George Church teaches another great course on this list which goes over technology and biology in a way that is useful for anyone interested in learning about where the future of medicine is headed.
  5. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Data Acquisition and Analysis – Data is essential to any medical field. This excellent course will help you to become acquainted with the processes and nuances relating to data collection and analysis.

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Johns Hopkins is considered by many to be among the premier institutions for medical training in the world. Open courseware offerings from Johns Hopkins are full of valuable insight that is useful for students interested in joining the medical field, or simply learning more about it.

  1. Critical Analysis of Popular Diets and Dietary Supplements – This course, taught by Lawrence J. Cheskin, takes a critical look at diets and dietary supplements that are commonly used today.
  2. Masculinity, Sexual Behavior & Health – Sexuality is an important field in medicine. This course focuses specifically on male aspects of sexuality, and how certain behaviors effect health.
  3. Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases – Kenrad Nelson teaches this interesting course that exams the nature of many different diseases, as well as their nomenclature and effects.
  4. Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care – Healthcare is a people driven business. If you are interested in the medical field, then it is essential that you have a firm understanding of the impact that healthcare has on society and behavior.
  5. Biostatistics Lecture Series – This lecture series, taught by a variety of Johns Hopkins’ top faculty, covers one of the most important aspects of medicine. Data collection and statistics make some of the best medical advances in the world possible.

Harvard University

Considered a premier institution in the world, and a proud member of the Ivy League, Harvard Medical School is a fantastic source of medical knowledge. With their open courseware initiatives going strong, now everyone can benefit and learn from one of the best medical schools in the country.

  1. Cellular Metabolism and Human Disease – Disease prevention and curing is one of the most important areas of medicine. This course aims to teach persons about how cellular metabolism plays a roll in human disease.
  2. Pain Management Strategies in the Elderly – Many people go into medicine specifically to work with the elderly. Additionally, this course is a great introduction to the exciting world of geriatrics.
  3. Medicine, Human Rights, and the Physician – For physicians, human rights and medicine go hand and hand. The creators of this course understand this fact and have the goal of teaching as many people as possible about this important relationship.
  4. The Importance of Data Representation – In medicine, there are many times when you must show your data findings to others. Understanding how to best represent data to get your message across is a fantastic skill, and one that this course aims to develop.
  5. Information Technology in the Healthcare – In the years to come, nothing will impact medicine more than new technologies. With this in mind, taking a course about information technology in healthcare will make you better prepared to succeed in the future.

Tufts University

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Tufts University has an extensive courseware offering that is a monumental benefit to any person wishing to learn more about medicine. With a wide range of courses covering diverse topics in medicine, the selection of this open courseware project makes it one of the best in the nation.

  1. Basic Human Pathology: Parts I & II – Before becoming an expert in anything, you must first learn the basics.
  2. Biology of Water and Health – Water is essential to the human body. Taking a course on the biology of this liquid, and how it relates to health can give you a unique perspective into a subject not covered by many traditional medical courses.
  3. Cardiovascular Pathophysiology – Cardiovascular health is one of the fastest growing concerns in medicine today.
  4. Epidemiology and Biostatistics – This course focuses on teaching students how to understand statistics as it relates to the field of medicine.
  5. Geriatric Dentistry – If you are interested in working with the elderly, then another great course to take is Geriatric Dentistry, which covers all the aspects of aging teeth.

Other Universities

The following courses are offered by a variety of different universities. These schools, while perhaps not having the most extensive collection of medical open courseware, still provide valuable resources for persons interested in the healthcare profession.

  1. Medicine and Public Health in American History – We can learn many things through study, and therefore, the study of history is one of the most useful tools for learning about a subject. To this end, this course offered by The University of Notre Dame’s open courseware project, educated students on public health and medicine through the window of history.
  2. Modern Biology – This comprehensive course on biology, available via Carnegie Mellon, provides a solid overview of important biological concepts that are useful for anyone interested in medicine.
  3. Laws on Medicine – The University of Tokyo provides this riveting class about the laws of medicine. In today’s sue first, ask questions later society, understanding the laws of medicine is quintessential to success in the field.
  4. Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology – This excellent course offered by The University of California at Berkeley, provides lectures on nutrients from food to cells, metabolism, energy, storage, and more to explain the function of nutrients.
  5. Energy, Diet, and Weight – The University of Washington’s series on energy, diet, and weight is a comprehensive overview of very important medical topics.
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