Medical pharmacology – D.O./D.P.M./PA

Pharmacology is the study of the interactions between a drug and an organism. This course introduces the basic principles of medical pharmacology to multiple professional programs on campus. These fundamental principles include the mechanism of action, adverse effect, and clinical use of each drug class as well as concepts in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics.

Medical physiology – D.O./D.P.M.

Physiology is the study of function. This course introduces basic principles of physiology beginning at the cellular level (membrane potentials, receptor physiology, transport mechanisms) and progresses to the organ systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary-renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine and nervous). Emphasis is placed upon regulatory control interactions. Knowledge of these interactions is necessary for a holistic understanding of homeostasis and pathophysiology in humans. By understanding these regulating control systems, one can begin to conceptualize disease processes and understand the rationale for therapeutic interventions.

A fundamental understanding of anatomy (structure) and biochemistry (molecular function) are essential for a functional mastery of physiology. Understanding physiology is the foundation for pharmacology (modification of function by a therapeutic agent) and pathology (abnormal structure and/or function).

Physiology/Pathophysiology – PA

Both normal human physiology and selected areas of pathophysiology are covered in this course. Faculty from the biochemistry department contribute lectures on genetics and metabolism. Students have studied some physiology and biochemistry as undergraduates but this course endeavors to deepen student knowledge of critical areas such as cardiovascular and respiratory physiology and integrate clinical material into the discussions of all physiological topics.

Special topics in pharmacology – M.S. Biomedical Sciences

Through this course offering, students are exposed to and participate in a thorough review of a historically significant body of literature in the disciplines of physiology and/or pharmacology. The course is designed to guide students through the scientific process using a relevant body of literature. Ultimately the goal of the course is to advance a student’s knowledge of physiology and pharmacology in accordance with the current medical physiology course work, as well as increase a student’s ability to read, analyze, and interpret primary literature shaping physiological and pharmacological principles.


Animal-assisted therapy and the use of sevice animals

The goal of this course is to acquaint future healthcare professionals with the wide variety of ways animals are used in animal-assisted activities, animal-assisted therapy, and as service animals in both physical and psychological support roles. The students will, through outside reading, class demonstrations, discussion, etc., obtain a deeper understanding of the value and ethics of using an animal as part of therapy.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is both a popular and controversial topic in mainstream medicine. CAM is a term that currently serves to encompass a multitude of therapeutic modalities, many of which have not been accepted widely in conventional/western medical practice. In addition, CAM includes non-western systems of medical practice that have existed for thousands of years in many cultures, such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as fairly new systems of medicine such as Homeopathy and Naturopathy.

This CAM elective will provide a solid introduction to a selection of CAM modalities and non-western systems of medical practice. Specifically, the course may address: acupuncture; chiropractic; hypnotherapy; traditional oriental medicine; reiki; energy medicine; Ayurvedic medicine; and potentially others.

Education for physicians on end-of-life care (EPEC)

The course introduces selective topics that are part of the comprehensive curriculum for physicians on end-of-life care which is known as EPEC (Education for Physicians on End-of-Life Care). The course is taught in 8 2hr sessions and includes some lecture, review of various video clips and significant group and individual discussion. Enrollment is limited to 15 students, attendance is required and there are no examinations.

Pain and pain management

Pain is an element of the normal physiological sensory processing as well as a disease entity. Every human has experienced the positive and negative consequences of this pervasive sensory and perceptual system. This course will examine the nature of pain from its normal functional role through its long-term pathological characteristics. The psychological and behavioral aspects of pain and the influence of pain on behavior will be explored. The various types and presentations of pain and the principles and approaches for management of pain will be discussed by experienced practitioners.

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