PATH 640 Pathologic Basis of Clinical Medicine

The course is taught in two segments—General Pathology and Systemic Pathology. The main emphasis is on active learning by the students based on clinically oriented lectures and daily clinical problem-solving in groups.

The General Pathology segment deals with how tissue responds to injury, cell death, inflammation, ischemia, thrombosis, embolism, infarction, etc. It also deals with response to infections, environmental pollutants and disease states related to abnormal immune responses. Mechanisms of tumor development and how tumors spread are studied under “neoplasia,” followed by molecular pathology.

The Systemic Pathology segment involves similar principles, but applied in detail to individual organ systems, such as cardiovascular, respiratory, etc. It includes interpretation of laboratory data for some of the major disease processes. Forensic pathology is also taught in this segment.

Small Groups

The lab sessions are conducted as group activities in student groups of 12, closely monitored by a clinical tutor. The students discuss gross and microscopic pathology images, (about 400), electron micrographs, radiographic images and clinical cases which correlate with the concurrent lecture manual. The process involves active learning with guided discovery of etiology, pathogenesis, structural changes, clinical symptoms and signs, relevant investigations, and course of the disease for the common and prototype diseases. The students are also encouraged to learn how to distinguish between related entities. Periodically, gross specimens and glass slides from current hospital material are also discussed.

Exams, Quizzes, Grading

There are three exams. This includes one unified exam after the first two weeks of classes and one exam at the end of each segment. Each exam is comprehensive, covering all the material taught to that date and is made up of clinical vignette-based MCQ-type questions. Approximately 23% of those questions are image-based. There is also one online quiz.

Students can earn a maximum of 25 professionalism points for clinicopathological conferences, concept map submissions, lab and lecture participation, and demonstration of professional behavior. All three exams carry a combined total of 300 points, distributed as follows:

  • Unified Exam (20 questions): 10 points
  • Exam 1 (140 questions): 140 points
  • Final Exam (150 questions): 150 points
All course notes, lab images, sample questions, and other course materials are posted on Sakai. All quizzes are
administered online.