M1 and M2 Pathology

M1 and M2 Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 

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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for medical students is an introduction to human disease that incorporates clinical reasoning questions in order to help prepare students for third year clerkships. Pathology .begins in the latter part of the first year and ends with the second-year curriculum.  Currently, the course is in the process of vertically integrating material with Molecular Basis of Life, Defense and Disease in year one; and Human Systems in Health and Disease I and 2 in year two. See Curriculum Overview.

An emphasis is placed on the correlation of gross and microscopic alterations in organs and tissues with biochemical and physiological dysfunction and clinical disease.  The course includes didactic lectures, simulated learning and integrated learning in the first two years of medical school.  The course utilizes Robbins Basic Pathology with Student Consult by Kumar, Abbas and Aster. Recommended texts are Robbins and Cotran Review of Pathology by Klatt & Kumar; and Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease Interactive Case Histories which includes comprehensive patient histories, clinical and radiologic images, gross and microscopic pathology, virtual microscopy, therapeutics, related questions and answers and guided self-study.  

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.  An important aspect of what this course is attempting to do is get the student to start integrating and organizing the facts, principles and approaches to disease, a reasoning process that the medical student will use throughout the remainder of their training and professional life.

Pathology will help the student 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/evolves)

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; have a basic understanding of the tests used in evaluating patients for a given disease, as well as 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 and later, in systemic pathology, we focus on the specific disease entities commonly found in each organ. The breadth of a student's Pathology knowledge is tested within the confines of the UofL SOM integrated course exams offered every four to six weeks and the performance on NBME student subject exams.  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, the student should be able to collect information about a sick patient from a variety of sources and should be able to integrate and analyze this information in a way that facilitates patient care and ultimately the relief of suffering.

Current students should review the integrated syllabus, grades, pathology learning objectives, PowerPoints, and teaching activities regarding pathology on the school calendar located on RedMed.

Additional information can be found at University of Louisville Undergraduate Medical Education, University of Louisville Student Affairs and The School of Medicine Bulletin.