The Department of Pathology is primarily involved in teaching second year students, and provides them with their first formal encounter with disease. We are involved in two Year 2 courses: Biology of Disease and Mind, Brain and Behavior II. Pathology department faculty also participate to a limited extent in some Year 1 courses (see below).
The BoD course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of disease by correlating underlying molecular mechanisms with structural, functional and clinical aspects. It is a year long course that begins in the Fall semester with a five-week introduction to the basic manifestations of disease at the cellular and tissue levels (General Pathology). Running concurrently with General Pathology is the Immunology block, which provides students with an understanding of the basic mechanisms that protect the body against infectious agents and how these mechanisms contribute to diseases, including autoimmunity, immune deficiency and transplantation rejection. The remainder of the BoD course deals with diseases affecting specific organ systems (except CNS), which are taught as discrete units or blocks in an integrated manner with the Department of Medicine and several other clinical departments. A major theme of the BoD course is teaching students how to integrate material taught in the various organ system blocks and to use this information to solve clinical problems. Several methods are used to achieve this goal: “integrative” questions included in block exams, a written clinical-pathologic case exercise and interactive case discussions using an electronic audience response system.
This course is essentially a continuation of the MBBI course taught in Year 1 where students are introduced to principles of neuroanatomy and related functional aspects. MBBII is divided into Neurology and Psychiatry sections. MBBII-Neurology deals with diseases of the nervous system and like BoD, emphasizes the correlation of molecular, structural, functional and clinical aspects of CNS disease. It is taught as an integrated unit by the Departments of Pathology and Neurology.
The Pathology department participates to a limited degree in some first year courses including Gross Anatomy, Histology and MBBI. Here our major role is to provide clinical-pathologic correlations relating to the gross and microscopic anatomy of specific organs, and in MBBI participation in laboratory exercises.
Students can arrange to do an “observership” in the Department of Pathology during open or “free” time that may be available during the first or second year. Most students go through medical school, especially the first 2 years, having little exposure to pathology as a medical specialty. The observership will provide an opportunity to see what pathologists really do in their day-to-day life -– the important role they play in patient care, what type of “lifestyle” they have, etc. Typically the observership experience would occur for one day or can be extended over several days, depending on the student’s availability and schedule. During the observership, the student will have an opportunity to “shadow” pathology department faculty and residents as they perform various clinical activities, such as surgical pathology, autopsies, and cytopathology, and to attend scheduled teaching conferences. Interested students should contact either Zhong Jiang, MD or Bruce Woda, MD, both in the Division of Anatomic Pathology.