M-1 Discovery Curriculum Course Descriptions
Physiology is the underlying basis of clinical medicine. The objective of this course is to help the student learn and integrate physiologic concepts. The course emphasizes the functional organization and control of the "internal environment" of the human body. The areas covered include cellular organization, membrane, nerve and muscle physiology, the cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems, the lymphatics, microcirculation, metabolism and temperature regulation, gastrointestinal physiology and the endocrine and reproductive systems.
Students are expected to become familiar with physiologic processes from the cellular level to the whole body. The course emphasizes the following core competencies: knowledge (to gain an understanding of underlying physiologic processes), critical and creative thinking skills (ability to apply the fundamentals of normal physiology in the understanding of pathophysiology and treatment), professionalism (interaction and respect for others) and lifelong learning (to realize the commitment to continue to learn throughout medical practice).
Molecules to Cells: Biochemistry, Genetics, Human Development & Tissue Biology
The Molecules to Cells course is designed to provide students with integrated concepts of biochemistry, medical genetics, human development and cell and tissue biology. The goal of the curriculum is for students to become aware of the contributions of these disciplines to bring future developments in clinical diagnosis and treatment. Sessions include lectures, virtual microscope exercises and clinical correlations.
Molecules to Cells will expose students to the molecular and chemical principles of life such as those concerned with structure and function of proteins and DNA, metabolism and its control, membrane transport and cellular recognition.
The course provides the basic science foundation in the principles and concepts of genetics which is required for the understanding of the rapidly-changing clinical practice of medicine.
The course will also describe the series of processes that take place as a single fertilized human ovum develops into diverse cells, tissues and organs. The causes and implications of a variety of congenital abnormalities also are discussed.
In addition, the course will explore the organization and operation of the body from a cellular and subcellular perspective. Students are expected to acquire the necessary skills to integrate microscopic structure and cellular and tissue function.
Clinical Human Anatomy
Introduces students to the structural and functional aspects of the human body. Students explore the macroscopic anatomy of organs, regions, planes and spaces. Learning experiences are reinforced with cadaver dissection and a variety of imaging techniques – such as X-rays, CT and MRI scans - that relate to clinical practice. Course Objectives:
To provide students with the foundations of the normal gross anatomy of the human body.
To learn the spatial and functional relationships among anatomical structures through the study of cross-sectional anatomy and clinically applicable radiological imaging (plain film, MRI and CT).
To function as a cooperative member of a medical dissecting team displaying professional behavior through the utilization of effective interpersonal skills.
To learn to communicate accurately and concisely with medical professionals using accepted anatomical terminology.
To gain experience in the proper use of dissection instruments and appropriate dissecting techniques.
Foundations of Clinical Medicine
In preparation for direct patient care experiences, students will receive instruction and practice opportunities on the basic clinical skills essential for meaningful patient interaction. Instruction in the basics of medical interviewing, physical examination, written documentation, oral presentations and the medical record will precede opportunities to practice in small groups. Formative feedback will be provided throughout this process. Students will learn core medical ethics and professionalism concepts vital to providing patient care. Common conditions and diagnoses across a variety of disciplines and settings will be covered in anticipation of starting clinical work.
At the end of the course, students will take an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) to assess basic clinical skills. Each student must pass this examination to enter the clinical setting with a preceptor. Students who do not pass the examination will be provided an opportunity to remediate and complete a subsequent assessment.
Infectious Agents and Host Immunity
Delves into the fundamental principles of microbiology, including the sub-disciplines of immunology, virology, bacteriology, microbial genetics, mycology and parasitology. Students acquire an understanding of physiologic and pathogenic of microorganisms causing disease, immunological responses contributing to health and disease and the principles of the actions of antimicrobial agents.
Principles of Drug Action Course Description
Discusses the principles of pharmacology as well as major therapeutic drugs. The interaction of drugs, drug absorption and elimination, drug distribution, dose-response relationships, toxicity and therapeutic efficacy.
The Medical Neuroscience course is designed to help students better understand the structure and function of the human nervous system and better appreciate how neuroscience applies to the care of patients. As such, the course includes presentations on basic neuroscience (e.g. Cerebellum Structure, Circuitry and Function) as well as clinical applications (e.g. Cerebellar Disorders). Faculty from basic science and clinical departments facilitate interactive presentations and laboratory sessions (gross anatomy, histology, ultrastructure, neuroimaging).
Foundations of Human Behavior
This unit provides students with a knowledge base in normal human psychological development and behavior across the life cycle, the role of interpersonal relationships within family and other groups, and psychological adaptation to illness.
Bench to Bedside
One half-day per week during the second and third section will be dedicated to learning activities meant to supplement direct patient care experiences. Topics will include multidisciplinary (basic science and clinical faculty) case conferences, the “abnormal” physical exam with basic science and clinical correlations, medical ethics and palliative care, health systems and policy and evidence-based medicine. As much as possible logistically, topics will be linked to other teaching sessions in the curriculum to provide basic science context to enhance learning and retention. Multiple modalities will be utilized including small group formats, team-based learning, simulation and distance learning such as podcasting and e-learning.
Each student will be assigned to a weekly clinical experience, during which students will be supervised in the provision of patient care by a faculty member. A checklist of core skills and diagnoses will be created and distributed to students and preceptors. Preceptors will observe their students performing each of these skills during their clinical experience and provide formative feedback. Weekly notifications of classroom topics, including suggestions for clinical correlations that may be applicable in patient care, will be sent to the preceptors to maximize opportunities for direct application of knowledge.
Preceptors will assist the student in identifying a group of patients with whom the student can have more in-depth interactions over time in an attempt to improve the health of these patients. Opportunities may include chronic disease management, hospital follow-up, medication reconciliation or preventive care. Students will work with their preceptors to plan phone calls or office visits for patients who may benefit from student participation in additional patient education or counseling.
Preceptors from multiple specialties will be recruited from both MCW’s full-time and volunteer faculty. Students will be assigned to one preceptor (or potentially two preceptors sharing responsibility for one student) to provide continuity and the opportunity for optimal feedback and mentorship. Regular feedback will be solicited from faculty, including questions on student performance, monitoring of the student checklist and the program as a whole.
M-2 Discovery Curriculum Overview