Course Director: Basic science: Jon Fisher, PhD (Cell Biology)
Block 1: Body Systems & Homeostasis 1 (7 Weeks; 5 Credits) is the first introduction to the patient and healthcare system in the context of routine health maintenance and wellness. During this block, students will begin to learn about the roles and responsibilities of various members of the healthcare team. They will be introduced to the basics of the normal structure and function of the human body, including how to monitor health status using vital signs, general appearance, and laboratory tests. Students will learn the core concepts of the foundational sciences of medicine – genetics, biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, embryology, cell biology, physiology, pharmacology, evidence-based medicine – and how they relate to normal processes in the body. This core will provide the building blocks to distinguish abnormal from normal, and to understand the basis for diagnostic testing and pharmacologic interventions. They will also learn the basics of epidemiology and biostatistics to support effective clinical practice and interpretation of the scientific literature.
Doctoring and Clinical Skills (DoCS) and Medical Colloquia are also included in this block. Students will meet their first patients as a medical student, and practice the basics of communication and gathering history and vital signs during a routine visit.
Students may feel overwhelmed by the large amount of material that needs to be read, digested, and integrated. That’s normal in medical school. There will be discussions on ways of maintaining personal and professional well-being, and help for developing strategies for coping with the stresses of life and school. Additionally, there will be an introduction to quality improvement processes that apply to personal and professional activities in order to become a reflective practitioner. All of the concepts introduced here will be revisited and built upon in subsequent block courses.