I’ve spent most of this week re-organizing the Pathophysiology course after a long discussion on the matter with my wife – who is an invaluable resource for all things, but especially so for this sort of a course where our experience gap extends the length of a additional graduate degree and a career in medicine.
She advised me that my focus was all wrong. As a cell and molecular biologist, I naturally wanted to spend time building up slowly from sub cellular functions to tissues, organs, and finally organ systems. Rather, she proposed, I should skip quickly into the major organ systems (see below) with only a short time spent skimming the first several units. Furthermore, I keep forgetting the ‘path’ prefix and spend far too much attention on building systems, rather than examining how they fail.
Of course, she’s right (and not just because she reads this blog). My students have already had general biology, microbiology, and anatomy and physiology. They only need reminders of this previous material – not valuable class time spend there.
To recalibrate our course, I’ve decided to take her advice entirely. The only change I will make is to talk about Neoplasms (Chapter 7), which I think are extraordinarily important and fun to talk about. I won’t spend much time there, but I will use it as a mechanism to buffer some time before going into systems, where I will be introducing each system followed by student presentations of diseases associated with each.
First Weeks of Semester: Chapters 1, 2, and 7 (Cells&Tissue, Cell response to Injury, Neoplasia)
Systems: (intro & pathology)
- Circulatory / Cardiovascular System
- Respiratory System
- Kidney and Urinary Tract
- GI and Hepatobiliary Systems
- Endocrine System
- Nervous System
- Muscularskeletal System
- Integumentary System
Pathological conditions to be presented by students:
- Hypertrophic Cardiac Myopathy
- Dilative Cardiac Myopathy
- Mytral and Aortic Valve Disease
- Septal Defects
- Heart Failure (Pick a subset)
- Cardiovascular shock
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Kidney Stones
- Hypertensive Glomerular Disease
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- GI Reflux
- Irritable bowl syndrome
- Celiac Disease
- Hepatobiliary Disease
- Portal Hypertension
- Gall Stones
- Hyper / Hypo- thyroidism
- Cushings Disease
- Headaches / Migraines
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Students will be able to work alone in or a group, however, each presentation results in one grade for one individual.
Presentations must include / will be graded on:
- Defining the disease
- Explain Etiology
- Define Clinical Signs
- What is currentTreatment
- Definition of the drugs used and mechanism (not all therapies, but present one example of each mechanism)
- Write one exam question for your topic
Presentations should be ten minutes with no more than ten slides.
And I almost forgot about the hints for the quiz tomorrow…
The first hint is that it is good to know what ion is important in triggering muscle contraction.
The second is that there is something about the way muscle cells come together to form tissue that is important.
There’s an old children’s verse about a certain double homicide committed many years ago in the city of Fall River, Massachusetts. I’ll probably ask about it.