Medical School 3rd Year Curriculum

Third Year Pediatrics Course Outline

A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, University of Liberia

Core Instructors

  1. Dr. Bernice T. Dahn, MD, MPH - Chairman
  2. Dr. Eugene Didi Dolopei, MD, MSc
  3. Dr. Saye Dahn Baawo, MD, MSPH
Consultants, Department of Pediatrics, J.F.K. Medical Center, Monrovia, Liberia


Course Outline

A. GENERAL OBJECTIVE: To prepare the student to know how to take pediatric history, be able to perform the methods of physical examination and to develop his diagnostic skills and understanding of the steps in arriving at a provisional or tentative diagnosis.


  1. To learn the techniques and methods of history taking.
  2. To properly interview a patient or his/her informant about the presenting problems.
  3. To develop good communication skills between the student and the patient.
  4. To take and write a good history about a patient.
  5. To learn how to perform a good physical examination on a patient.
  6. To properly present a patient during ward rounds.
  7. To learn the vital signs and know how to properly take them.
  8. To familiarize the students with various clinical terminologies.
  9. To know the differential diagnosis, signs and symptoms of some common diseases in medicine and affecting the pediatric age group.
  10. To be able to recognize physical signs in pediatric patients.


  1. Introduction
  2. History Taking in Pediatrics
    • Identification data/General information
    • Presenting complaints/Chief complaints (CC)
    • History of present illness (HPI)
    • Past medical history – antenatal (prenatal, natal (birth) and neonatal (PMH))
    • Feeding/Nutrition history – breastfeeding or formula, vitamin supplements, solid foods appetite
    • Developmental history
    • Immunization history
    • History of past illness
      • Illness – infectious and contagious
      • Operations
      • Accidents and injuries
    • Family/Social history – family, siblings, residence, income, familial illness
    • Behavior/Habits/Personality history – relations with other children and school progress, eating, sleep, exercise and play, urinary and bowel habits.
    • Review of System (ROS)
  3. Methods of Physical Examination
    • Inspection, Palpation,  Percussion & Ascultation
  4. Physical Examination of the Child
    • Approaching the child
    • Observation of the patient
    • Holding for examination
    • Removal of clothing
    • Sequence of examination
  5. Steps in General Physical Examination
    • General appearance
    • Vital Signs – age, weight, temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and height
    • Special senses – SHEENT
    • ]Chest – lungs and heart (Respiratory System/Cardiovascular System)
    • Abdomen (GIT System)
    • Genital examination (GUS)
    • Rectum and anus (GIT)
    • Extremities (Musculoskeletal)
    • Spine and back
    • Lymph nodes (Lymphatic System)
    • Neurological examination (CNS)
  6. Examination of the Newborn
  7. Other Clinical Measurement or Examination
    • Primitive reflexes
    • Developmental milestone
    • Glasgow Coma Scale
    • Blantyre Coma Scale
    • APGAR Score
  8. Evaluation
    • Punctuality in class and on the ward – 10%
    • Attendance of lectures, ward rounds, ground rounds and calls – 10%
    • Submission and presentation of history, definitions and differential diagnosis of medical vocabulary - 10%
    • Seminars and ward round presentations – 10%
    • Evaluation forms by clinical instructors and nurses – 10%
    • Final exams – written, practical and oral – 50% (20%, 15%, 15%)
  9. Course Presentations
    • Lectures
    • Demonstrations
    • Ward and teaching rounds
    • Seminars
    • Ward presentations
  10. Requirements
    • Pocket notebooks for ward rounds
    • Diagnostic set – stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, otoscope, patella hammer, tuning fork, tape measure, thermometer
    • Second hand watch
    • Books
      • Hutchinson’s Clinical Methods – Michael Swash and Stuart Mason
      • Symptoms and Signs in Clinical Medicine – E.Noble and Colin Ogilive
      • Diagnostic Examination – Elmer L.DeGowin and L.DeGowin
      • A Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking – Barbara Bates
      • Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine
      • Merck’s Manuel of Diagnosis and Therapy
      • Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine
      • Nelson’s Textbook of Pediatrics
      • Current Pediatric Diagnosis and Treatment
  11. Common Diseases in Pediatrics - Clinical Manifestation (Seminar Topic)
    • Sever Malaria
    • Meningitis
    • Gastroenteritis
    • Jaundice
    • Anemia
    • Sickle cell anemia
    • Malnutrition
    • Tuberculosis
    • Bronchial asthma
    • Neonatal tetanus
    • Otitis media
    • Heart failure
    • Nephrotic Syndrome
    • Measles
    • Neonatal Sepsis
    • Burkitt's Lymphoma
    • Encephalitis
    • Pleural Effusion
    • Pneumothorax
    • Acute appendicitis
    • Nephroblastoma (Wilm's tumor)
    • Diabetes Mellitus
    • Acute tonsillitis
    • Hydrocephalus
    • Epilepsy
    • Mental Retardation
    • Common Congenital abnormalities 
    • Cases of spot diagnosis

Third Year Curriculum Downloads 

An Introduction to the Nursery (pdf)

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