Second Year

Studies focus on the effects of disease on the body, how they affect structure and function, and physical manifestations of disease. Expanded clinical experience is integrated with courses in pathology, pathophysiology and pharmacology.

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Second-Year Courses

Cardiovascular Diseases

The purpose of this course is to consider the mechanisms and manifestations of acquired and congenital cardiovascular disorders as well as their pharmacologic treatment. Lectures and small-group discussions that emphasize the major areas of cardiac pathophysiology and pharmacology are provided.

Clinical Topics in Otolaryngology

This course consists of eight introductory lectures on common diseases of the head and neck, including head and neck carcinoma, hearing loss, vertigo, neck masses, pediatric airway obstruction, sinusitis, otolaryngologic emergencies and facial fractures. Each lecture is highlighted by case presentations and treatment options in addition to pathophysiology. This course follows the physical examination practicum given earlier in the academic year.


The Dermatology second-year course is designed to teach medical students how to describe skin lesions and the pathophysiologic basis and clinical characteristics of major dermatologic diseases. Major categories of clinical skin diseases and their most prominent constituents will be discussed, including papulosquamous diseases, blistering diseases, infectious diseases, and benign and malignant neoplasms.

Diseases of the Nervous System

The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems, including their clinical manifestations, pathology, pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy. The course includes reading assignments, lectures, laboratories, conferences and clinical presentations.

Diseases of the Nervous System: Psychiatry

This course emphasizes the diagnosis of major psychiatric illnesses in adults and children. Psychiatric diseases are described in terms of epidemiology, clinical presentation, natural history, genetics, differential diagnosis and clinical management. Interviewing techniques and performance of the mental status exam will be demonstrated by patient interviews.

Endocrinology and Metabolism

This course aims to develop understanding of the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of common endocrine disorders. History, physical examination and interpretation of diagnostic laboratory tests are emphasized. Principles of treatment of endocrine disorders and pharmacology of relevant drugs also are discussed. Students are expected to apply their knowledge in clinical case discussions.

Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases/Nutrition

This course discusses the pathophysiologic mechanisms related to the diseases of the gastrointestinal tract including esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. The emphasis is on changes that occur in normal physiology, biochemistry, anatomy, immunology and cell biology that result in human gastroenterologic diseases. Included also are lectures on the pharmacology of gastrointestinal drugs and basics of human nutrition in clinical practice. Lectures are supplemented by group seminars that focus on clinical case presentations.

Hematology and Oncology

The Hematology and Oncology pathophysiology course exposes students to common hematologic disorders and hematologic malignancies. The course uses lectures, clinical case discussions and practical sessions involving microscopy.

Infectious Diseases

The Infectious Diseases pathophysiology course emphasizes both organism-specific and organ-specific approaches to diseases caused by microbes. The course expands on material presented briefly in the first year concerning bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, and their involvement in human disease. Mechanisms of disease production, clinical manifestations and therapy are discussed, along with public health implications. In addition to lectures, small-group case discussions enable students to apply the information they learn to clinical situations.

Obstetrics and Gynecology

The obstetrical component of this course emphasizes the physiologic basis of normal pregnancy, parturition, labor and delivery, and adaptations of other organ systems to pregnancy. Pathophysiology of pregnancy, pregnancy complications and deviations from normal labor will also be introduced. The gynecologic component of the course reviews embryology and genetics of practical use for clinicians. This provides a foundation to overview adolescent gynecology, amenorrhea, abnormal uterine bleeding, reproductive endocrinology, infertility, menopause, surgical anatomy, and diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic neoplasms.


This course provides a comprehensive survey of the biology and morphology of human disease through a combination of lectures and laboratory/case study sessions. The year begins with a review of basic disease mechanisms at the cellular and molecular level. Subsequently, the pathogenesis and characteristics of important diseases involving each organ system of the body are presented. Considerable emphasis is placed on learning the “language” of human disease. During the year, students become familiar with the methods of contemporary pathologic analysis. They also learn how the results of pathologic studies are used in the clinical setting to establish diagnoses, to assess prognosis and response to therapy, and to evaluate the quality of patient care.

student and child


Students are introduced to pediatrics and to the faculty through a series of lectures and symposia designed to acquaint them with the concepts of human growth and development and the effects of age and maturity on reactions to injury and disease. The unique aspects of the physical examination of the infant and child are presented in the Introduction to Clinical Medicine course. Members of the faculty are active participants in the second-year Pathophysiology course.


Pulmonary Disease

The objectives of the pulmonary pathophysiology course include review of normal pulmonary physiology as related to specific pulmonary disease states. The focus of the course will largely be upon presentations in lectures concerning pathophysiologic principles of abnormal lung structure and function. In addition, case study problems will be discussed.

Renal and Genitourinary Diseases

This course uses basic principles of renal physiology and ion homeostasis to understand commonly encountered fluid and electrolyte disorders (especially hyper/hypo-natremias, acidoses/alkaloses) and the action of diuretic drugs. The pathophysiology of diabetic kidney disease, glomerular and tubulointerstitial diseases, hereditary kidney diseases, and the relationship between hypertension and the kidney are discussed. It also applies basic principles of urinary system anatomy and physiology to the understanding of kidney stones, disorders of the bladder and prostate, and of micturition. The course also introduces basic principles of dialysis and kidney transplant. Lectures, small-group problem-solving and team-based learning sessions focus special attention on: 1) how a working knowledge of fundamentals, diagnostic testing and arithmetic manipulation can have important predictive value and 2) how the courses of acute and chronic renal failure are both adaptive and maladaptive for the organism.


The Rheumatology pathophysiology course begins with an overview of the structure, function and physiology of the normal joint. The pathophysiology of both localized joint disorders such as osteoarthritis and infectious arthritis are presented, along with systemic inflammatory disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and vasculitis. Diagnosis, pharmacologic management and rehabilitation of these conditions are included. In small group sessions, students interview patients and observe the characteristic physical findings of these disorders.

The Practice of Medicine II

The goal of The Practice of Medicine (POM) course is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential to patient care regardless of specialty. POM II is a continuation of POM I and will continue to address various interfaces between patients, physicians and society and will also introduce approaches to clinical thinking and decision-making. The sections of POM II include Advanced Physical Examination, Case Development, Communication, Ethics and Health Policy, Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, Interpreting Illness, Ophthalmology, Patient Sessions, Radiology and Scientific Methods. The learning objectives for each section of POM II emphasize topics and skills used in all fields of medicine, and the majority of the course work will be taught in small groups or through clinical experiences.