PCM 500 Principles of Clinical Medicine 1

PCM1 is a 21-credit course taught over 18 weeks in Term 4 of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program of St George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada. It is a systems-based curriculum for the second academic year of the Basic Sciences program and is taught in four consecutive modules: General Principles (4 weeks), Renal and Cardiovascular Systems (4 weeks), Respiratory and Hematopoietic Systems (4 weeks), and Digestive, Endocrine and Reproductive Systems (6 weeks).

General Principles: In this module, students learn how to perform a clinician-centered medical interview with focused history taking, physical examination and writing of SOAP notes. They are introduced to the general principles of pathology, which includes cell injury, inflammation, repair, healing, neoplasia and hemodynamics. This has been integrated with the general principles of pharmacology, inclusive of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenetics, anti-cancer drugs, and drugs used in disorders of coagulation and antimicrobials.

Renal and Cardiovascular Systems: This module introduces students to systemic pathology, wherein diseases of the renal and cardiovascular system are emphasized. This has been closely integrated with the pharmacology of the autonomic system and drugs used in cardiovascular diseases. This module also covers the microbiological aspect of cardiovascular infections and relevant history taking and examination for cardiovascular diseases.

Respiratory and Hematopoietic Systems: This module is dedicated to the pathology of the respiratory system with close integration with the of microbiology of respiratory infections and drugs used in respiratory disorders. The focused history taking and physical examination of the respiratory system, head, eyes, ears, nose and throat is also taught. The module then delves into the study of hematopoietic pathologies, blood and lymphatic infections, and drugs used for anemia, malaria and tuberculosis.

Digestive, Endocrine and Reproductive Systems: Students learn to obtain a focused medical history and examination of the abdomen, female reproductive system, male genitourinary and rectum. The module also includes the pathology of the gastrointestinal tract, gastrointestinal infections and their therapies. Students are taught about the diseases affecting the endocrine system with adjunct therapeutic drugs. The module concludes with pathologies of the breast, ovary, female genital tract and male genital tract, as well as the hormones and drugs acting on the uterus and urinary tract infections.

The PCM 1 course is formed on the spine of a system-based approach to pathology. Throughout each system the integration of pharmacology and microbiology add to the systems pathology. In addition, lectures, simulation labs and B-line sessions on clinical skills (communication and physical diagnosis) weave into the curriculum along with practical clinical experiences in small group sessions and simulation labs, which incorporate standardized clinical cases.