Administrative Support: Janice Wooldridge-Ware (502) 852-1169 or Tassie Deppert (502) 852-8235
After completing this course the student should understand (or be able to understand) the basic features of most of the diseases they are likely to encounter or read about during their professional career.
At the completion of the course, the student should understand and be able to discuss:
- the etiology and pathogenesis (the mechanisms or causes) of the disease
- the clinical manifestations of the disease
- the gross and microscopic changes that define the disease
- the laboratory studies that are useful in identifying the disease
- pathophysiology (how the disease alters organ/organism function)
- natural history (how the disease progresses/resolves)
It might be apparent from the above list that an important aspect of what the course is attempting to do is get the student to start integrating and organizing the facts, principles and approaches to disease that the medical student will use throughout the remainder of their training and professional life.
The student should strive to gain a broad understanding of the Basic Mechanisms of Disease (infection, immunologic injury, neoplasia, toxic injury, etc) and how they affect specific organ systems; the student should be able to explain how a given disease produces its unique set of symptoms; the student should have a basic understanding of the tests used in evaluating patients for a given disease, and a general understanding of how to effectively use the laboratory.
In General Pathology, we introduce the student to common pathologic processes that affect all organs and patients. Later, we focus on the specific disease entities commonly found in each organ, Systemic Pathology. Several modes of presenting material are used: didactic lectures, Team Based Learning sessions, SIM Center sessions, and self-study. The student also has the opportunity to observe an autopsy to enhance the learning experience in pathology. The major course exams are integrated into the other second year courses using a "Block Exam" format. An NBME Prototype board exam is given as part of the course grade.
The importance of understanding the basic causes and mechanisms of disease (etiology and pathogenesis) and the pathophysiology (how disease alters function) of specific diseases cannot be overstated. Using the knowledge base provided in this course, the student should be able to collect information about a sick patient from a variety of sources and should be able to integrate/analyze this information in a way that facilitates patient care and ultimately the relief of suffering.
Pathology as a Career:
To learn more about pathology as a career watch this video from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: http://path.upmc.edu/career.htm