PRCL 626  General/Systemic Pathology I:   4 Credit Hours
PRCL 633  General/Systemic Pathology II:  3 Credit Hours

Placement in the Curriculum:  Year Two
Duration:    August - April

Synopsis:     General & Systemic Pathology is the study (logos) of suffering (pathos) and is a “bridging” discipline involving both basic science and clinical practice.  Pathology is devoted to the study of the structural and functional changes in cells, tissues, and organs that underlie disease.  General pathology is concerned with the basic reactions of cells and tissues to abnormal stimuli that underlie all diseases, and systemic (organ and organ system) pathology examines the specific responses of specialized organs and tissues to more or less well-defined stimuli.  (Adapted from Robbins and Cotran, page 4.  See Instructional below for information regarding this text.)

Through large group sessions and small group discussions and labs, students learn the morphologic alterations of diseased tissues and organs at the gross and microscopic level, as well as how these alterations are correlated wtih the clinical manifestations of the disease. 

   By the end of the course, successful students will achieve the level of competence expected of a medical student completing the M2 year, studying for USMLE Step 1, and preparing for the M3 year and patient care responsibilities through the following goals:
Medical Knowledge: 
●  Demonstrate an investigative and analytic approach to clinical and pathological problems.  (See page 4 of Robbins and Cotran.)
Demonstrate applied knowledge of Pathology, by describing the  four aspects of the major disease processes covered in the course:
▸Cause (etiology).
▸Mechanisms of development (pathogenesis).
▸Structural alterations induced in the cells and organs (morphologic changes).
▸Functional consequences of the morphologic changes (clinical significance).

Apply the basic and clinically supportive sciences appropriate to  pathology, such as anatomy, biochemistry, histology/histopathology, cytogenetics, and molecular pathology, etc.

Patient Care:
●  Gather and apply essential information from patient cases necessary to discuss clinicopathologic processes.
●  Demonstrate the ability to develop a differential diagnosis when caring for a patient or presented with a histopathologic finding.
Practice-based Learning and Improvement:
●  Demonstrate the ability to support self-education (i.e., active learning).

Demonstrate the ability to find additional information when confronted with a question or unfamiliar term, particularly when preparing for Small Group Discussion cases.
  Demonstrate the ability to appropriately use a medical dictionary and to use appropriate terminology.
●  Use information technology to access on-line medical information, as appropriate.
●  Facilitate the learning of peers within the small group discussion format.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills:
●  Exhibit effective listening and communication skills to result in effective information exchange among peers in Small Group Discussions.

●  Demonstrate respect, compassion, and integrity in interactions with peers, faculty, and support staff.
●  Perform assigned duties (such as preparing Small Group Discussion cases) in a dependable and responsible manner.
●  Demonstrate commitment to ethical principles pertaining to the course by adhering to the College of Medicine Honor Code.

Systems-based Practice:
●  Demonstrate an understanding of how the practice of pathology fits within the larger context of medical practice.

Assessment:    Students are assessed based on their performance on team-based learning (TBL) exercises, five progress exams and one comprehensive final exam (the NBME Pathology Subject Exam). Three examinations in the first semester and two examinations in the second semester cover information from large group sessions, associated readings, as well as certain lab experiences, such as CBC lab and renal pathology case studies. The end of semester progress exams (exam 3 and exam 5) also include material from the small group lab sessions from that semester. The first examination tests material only from the Pathology course, while the remaining four progress examinations are combined Pathology and Clinical Pathophysiology tests.

Students also recieve anonymous, narrative feedback from the members of their TBL team. This feedback is formative, and therefore not part of the students's final course grade. 

Instructional Features:    Large Group sessions, including team-based learning (TBL) exercises, Small Group Discussions (including gross and microscopic pathology), Optional Review sessions.  Students receive electronic copies of handouts of all lectures on the course blackboard website. Slides and recordings of most, but not all, presentations are also posted on Blackboard
The required textbook is Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 8th Edition.  Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2009.

Course Integration: 
Topics in Pathology are aligned as possible with other courses in the M2 year.

Additional information:
  Elective clerkships in surgical and clinical pathology are available in M3 (with permission) and M4 to allow study in more focused aspects of pathology, as well as participation in the daily clinical practice of pathology.  The student works and learns under the close guidance of one or more staff members specifically designated for the clerkship.

Key Words:    Pathogenesis of disease; macroscopic (gross) pathology; microscopic pathology; general and systemic pathology

Updated 02/16/14