An elective course focusing on exercise physiology and cardiovascular fitness has been offered since 1984 to a limited number of freshman and sophomore students at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. The course consists of a series of weekly lectures. Following each lecture, the students participate in a self-designed fitness program and agree to follow the program on their own time at least two days per week. Using bicycle ergometry testing, the instructors estimated the maximum oxygen consumption for each student before and after completion of the course, and the results over the four years indicate an average increase of 15 percent. The students' evaluation of the course has been favorable. The potential benefits of such a course are discussed.