Medical Student Educational Opportunities and Resources

Medical Student Elective:

Introduction to Correctional Medicine

The GW Committee on Undergraduate Medical Education Curriculum has approved an elective rotation for fourth year GW medical students, entitled “Introduction to Correctional Medicine (MED 346).”  The clinical practice site for this rotation with be the Central Detention Facility and Correctional Treatment Facility operated by the District of Columbia Department of Corrections. During the four-week rotation students will work in multi-disciplinary teams with direct supervision by experienced correctional practitioners and nursing staff. Medical students will engage with patients in a variety of correctional health care settings including urgent care, chronic care clinic, and the jail infirmary. Additionally, the course will include case study reviews with Dr. Newton E. Kendig, GW SMHS professor of medicine who has over 25 years of correctional health care experience. This rotation is ideal for medical students who have an interest in correctional medicine as a career; those who have an interest in caring for justice-involved patient populations in the community; and those who have an interest in enhancing their outpatient clinical skills caring for complicated patients. 

Students interested in enrolling for this elective or seeking further information should contact Dr. Kendig at

Hear from Two Students Who Completed This Elective



Medical Student Elective: Case-based Elective in Criminal Justice Health (MED 353)

This two week, discussion-based elective for MS-4 students will introduce medical students to the U.S. criminal justice system and the clinical challenges of managing justice-involved patients. Students will research assigned case studies of justice-involved patients with conditions such as chronic addiction, HIV infection, and serious mental illness. Cases will be discussed with fellow classmates and the Course Director, Dr. Newton E. Kendig. Discussions will focus on optimizing patient history taking by assessing social determinants of health; navigating complicated diagnostic dilemmas; formulating effective treatment plans; and evaluating the public health impact of patient interventions.

Students interested in this elective or seeking further information should contact Dr. Kendig at and review course details in the GW SMHS course catalogue.

Jail Patient Education Initiative

In collaboration with the Georgetown School of Medicine, GW first- and second-year medical students provide monthly patient education sessions as volunteers at the Arlington County Detention Facility. GW and Georgetown students develop health education materials and then present the information to interested jail residents in small group, interactive sessions in the jail housing units. The residents have been very appreciative of this time to gain insights into living healthier lives. For the medical students, this is a unique opportunity to hone skills in advising patients and to learn more about the complex health and social service needs of many justice-involved patients. To learn more about this program, contact Dr. Newton E. Kendig at

Medical Student Educational Opportunities in Criminal Justice Health (Overview)

Roadmap: The GW SMHS is adopting a longitudinal and integrated approach to justice-health learning in the context of a highly regulated and accelerated medical school curriculum.  Practically speaking, this means medical students will be provided opportunities to learn about justice-health through the existing GW curriculum of didactics, clinical rotations, research, summer projects, and volunteer opportunities.  The initial template for this integration was presented as a poster at the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health meeting in Las Vegas, NV in March 2019. The poster, Designing a Roadmap for Justice-Health Integration in a U.S. Medical School Curriculum, was developed and authored by Cara Buchanan, fourth-year GW medical student, Class of 2019.

View the PDF of  "Designing a Roadmap for Justice-Health Integration in U.S. Medical School Curriculum"

Criminal Justice Health Resources: Medical students may find the GW Criminal Justice Health Reference list as a useful introduction to this area of medicine and meaningful adjunctive material for didactic courses and clinical clerkships.