Evolution is the essential foundation of all biological sciences, including medicine. After almost two years as an unofficial group of students meeting informally, an evolutionary medicine interest group at the LSU-HSC School of Medicine in New Orleans was officially recognized by the school.
The group is set up in a journal club style, with students presenting journal articles and leading discussions relevant to the month’s topic. In doing so, students learn of the evolutionary history of anatomy, infectious diseases, pathogenic processes, and congenital disorders with the ultimate goal of gaining a richer perspective on the practice of medicine grounded in evolution.
Studying the principles of evolutionary biology and its applications to the practice of medicine will serve to improve the ability of future healthcare providers to be successful physicians and researchers by encouraging a new framework for thinking about health and disease. The program will augment the current medical curricula in microbiology, neuroscience, psychology, genetics and structural biology while creating an interdisciplinary academic environment between medicine, research, and public health.
It is the ultimate goal of this group to increase the understanding of scientific literature, encourage peer-to-peer teaching, and pave the way to the development of evolutionary thinking in a new generation of physicians.