INMD 7004

COVID-19: Outbreaks and the Media


Beth Scudder, MA
Course Coordinator

Curriculum focus: 
Clinical level: 
MS year: 
Terms offered: 



    Catalog Description:  

    This elective will introduce students to outbreak tracking in the media, and social media responses during disasters. Students will learn the history of previous outbreaks and how they compare to the current COVID-19. Students will learn how to evaluate medical media/information as it regards to COVID-19. The best way to learn about media is to also practice using our physician voice with the public. Students will move from learning about COVID-19 to learning how to share WHO, CDC, MDH, and CIDRAP information about COVID-19 with the lay public through social media in a mentored setting. This course will be completely online, with class group conversations and individual work. The course director is Dr. Krohn with assistance from Dr. Thielen.

    By the end of this rotation students will have a basic background in the history of recent epidemics/pandemics. They will demonstrate that they can use social media to effectively track COVID19 as it progresses. They will demonstrate ability to assess the quality of medical media about COVID19. Students prepare SOCOs (Single Overarching Communications Objective) and talking points. They will learn best practices in social media. Lastly, they will engage in social media to connect people in our state with accurate information about COVID19.

    Sites: OL: Online learning

    Required session attendance: 

    Typical weekly schedule/Delivery Mode:  

    • 40 hours per week divided between group online discussion/projects and individual directed learning.

    Direct patient care:  No

    Consent Requirement: Open to student scheduling

    Course Objectives: 

    By the end of this rotation students will be able to:

    • Identify reliable information sources for COVID-19
    • Understand basic pathophysiology of COVID-19
    • Demonstrate ability to follow local trends on social media
    • Demonstrate lateral reading skills, also known as “How to think like a Facto Checker”
    • Practice methods for sharing medical information with the general public
    • Practice social media message amplification
    • Understand the history of social media use during disasters in support of health
    • Engage on social media under direction to share official (CDC, MDH, WHO) information directly with people asking questions in a timely fashion that relieves/supports official public responses
    • Become familiar with historical pandemics, coronavirus infections, pandemic responses, and public health infrastructure
    • Understand the Impacts of just in time supply chains on medical care in times of a pandemic

    Graded Components:

    • Online discussion participation. Presentations, Knowledge Assessments throughout

    Grading Scale:  P/N


    Course Personnel: Beth Thielen, MD, PhD ( and Nasreen Quadri, MD (

    Allow repetition of course: Repetition not allowed

    Limited to Student Type:  No

    Course equivalency:  N/A

    Related curricular experience:

    Secure Exam:

    Course evaluation:  MedHub