A group of people stand in scrubs smilingThe Pathophysiology of Disease (IPHY 4010) is an upper division elective course, usually with 20-45 students, offered primarily for Integrative Physiology majors and pre-nursing students. This course was first offered in summer 2013 and initially I am the only instructor to teach it.  Another instructor started teaching this course two years ago. 

Currently, there is no such a course offered in the Integrative Physiology department or in other departments on campus.  Integrative Physiology is expanding its core curriculum and Pathophysiology will fit extremely well with the goals of the department and the expansion of the curriculum. This course will allow students to integrate and apply what they have learned in their introductory classes to human diseases.  Additionally, Pathophysiology is required for many nursing schools as a pre-requisite.  This course would greatly serve students, not only in the department but also campus-wide, who are applying to these programs.

With a draft of the course learning goals, I invited the other instructor and our department education specialist to review it, and we reached consensus for the course learning goals.  While this course has more than one learning goal, this portfolio is focused on just the following one:

  • Solve case study problems using patient history, clinical manifestations, physical examinations, lab results and common diagnostic images.

Other overall goals for this course are:

  1. Distinguish signs and symptoms, acute and chronic illness, local and systemic clinical manifestations.
  2. Identify the risk factors for common human diseases and determine whether they are modifiable.
  3. Identify concepts, principles, and responses related to pathophysiologic processes that result in development of disease.
  4. Predict the etiology and pathogenesis given clinical manifestations of a disease. 
  5. Discuss how each type of disease of focus is diagnosed, the clinical manifestations, prognosis and treatment.

Because learning goals clearly articulate the level of skills and knowledge students need to learn, we can assess what students acquire by the end of the course.  Without specific learning goals for the course, it will be impossible for instructors to assess student learning. 

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