M-2 Discovery Curriculum Course Descriptions
Foundations of Pathologic Processes--Musculoskeletal/Skin
FPP-MSS is a foundational integrated course that explores the immune system and its response to infections, concepts important to understanding cell injury, neoplastic processes and genetics. Students progress through the normal and abnormal development, structure and function of skin, skeletal muscle, cartilage, ligament and bone. Learning activities include lecture, interactive sessions and various lab sessions.
Cardiovascular (CV) Unit examines the anatomy, histology, biology and physiology of the cardiovascular system. Students explore advanced normal cardiovascular function and disease, as well as major risk factors and their relationship to cardiovascular diseases. Interactive and small group clinical sessions, lecture and various lab sessions reinforce understanding of the physiological, biochemical, local and humeral mechanisms in control of the cardiovascular system.
The Renal/Respiratory Unit provides a case-based, multi-disciplinary introduction to understanding the kidneys in a clinical context. Students make connections between renal development, histology and function using an integrative approach to the normal and abnormal function of the upper and lower respiratory systems. Learning methods include lecture, interactive, group and lab sessions.
The Heme/Lymph unit is designed to teach medical students the pathophysiology of red blood cell, white blood cell, platelet, hemostatic, and lymph node disorders. The course will begin with an introductory session on blood and bone marrow histology and review blood cell function. Throughout the course, students will learn about the diagnosis, pathophysiology including genetic and molecular mechanisms, clinical and laboratory presentation, and treatment of the most common hematologic disorders. At the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the nutritional, hypoproliferative and hemolytic anemias, leukocytosis, myeloid neoplasms, acute and chronic lymphoid leukemias, lymphomas, reactive lymphadenopathies, and bleeding and thrombotic disorders. Various interactive and didactic teaching modalities will be used by basic science and clinical faculty.
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.
The goal of the Gastrointestinal-Nutrition module is to build a foundation of understanding of the structure-function relationships which control GI function in context with disease processes. This includes the anatomical, physiological, cellular and biochemical functions of the GI tract and the organs which secrete components that function in the GI system. The nutritional requirements for health, prevention of disease and healing will be explored relative to energy requirements, energy metabolism and essential nutrients in the context of GI disease. The aim is to help students develop the necessary skills to be interdisciplinary thinkers and lifelong learners who understand and interpret molecular, biochemical and clinical information leading to improved evidence-based medicine.
The Endocrine Unit will take students through the anatomy, histology, embryology, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology and pathology of the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands. As students gain an understanding of basic endocrinology (mechanisms of hormone action, transport and metabolism and feedback control), they will learn about major endocrine disease states. At the conclusion of the unit, they will understand the pathophysiology, evaluation and treatment of hyper- and hypo-thyroidism, disease of the pituitary-adrenal axis, abnormalities of calcium regulation and diabetes.
The Reproduction Unit focuses on the development and progression of female and male reproductive systems. Prenatal development, gender differentiation and the reproductive years are highlighted. Students will learn the development, structure and function of the urinary tract and common disease states such as prostate cancer and urinary tract infections. Clinical examples will be used throughout the unit to reinforce and expand beyond basic science principles. Psychological implications of gender, sexuality, sexual orientation and STDs will also be woven through the unit. At the conclusion of the unit, students will understand normal and pathological states of the reproductive system.
The Neuroscience and Psychology Unit is designed to provide the students with the knowledge and skills required to understand and evaluate normal function and pathology of the human nervous system. Students will study the anatomy, biology and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems as they explore the diagnosis, pathophysiology and treatment of neurologic diseases. Upon completion of the module, students will achieve a better understanding of the structure and function of the human nervous system, be familiar with common presentations and treatments of major neurologic conditions and be able to perform a psychiatric assessment.
The Symptoms Unit will encourage students to bring together what they have learned about normal and abnormal gross and cellular structure, biochemistry, physiology, neoplasia and the role of microorganisms in each of the organ-based units and apply this knowledge in patients presenting with a particular symptom. They will generate differential diagnoses, understand the relationship of history and physical examination to the evaluation, determine the need for further testing and understand the limitations of such testing and define pharmacological and other therapeutic options with an understanding of the risks and benefits of each these options. This Unit integrates basic science courses, history and physical findings, knowledge of clinical correlations and understanding of demographic and psychological factors influencing patient presentation and treatment, through a clinical symptom-based process. It provides students with practice using their logic and deductive skills, information retrieval and analysis.
One half-day per week in the fourth semester will be dedicated to clinical learning activities designed to prepare students for the USMLE Step 1 Exam and clinical clerkships. Topics and teaching modalities will be similar to those included in the supplemental clinical medicine experiences in the second and third semesters. This will also be a time when students can satisfy checklist items not observed during the direct patient care experience. Additionally, simulated patient care encounters with follow-up clinical reasoning and oral presentation exercises will be utilized to ensure each student is prepared for clinical clerkships. Students will be introduced to core duties and roles of health care professionals – and the health care system as a whole – as it relates to M3 clerkships.
M-1 Discovery Curriculum Overview