Medical Student Years 1 and 2: Block 2

Learning Objectives

Block 2 of the Foundations of Medicine and Health (Medical School, Year 1) curriculum integrates basic and clinical concepts from the following six disciplines over 11 weeks of study:

  1. Cancer Biology
  2. Development
  3. Endocrine
  4. Genetics
  5. Reproductive Biology
  6. Molecular Biology

Because these six disciplines impact the functioning of all organ systems, this block forms the framework for the basic cellular and genetic mechanisms that underlie health and disease. In addition, concepts from structure (gross anatomy and histology), and cell physiology are included.

Human development is discussed using case studies and focused interactive sessions on:

  • The “building blocks of life”
  • Genetic alterations
  • Defects in signal transduction
  • Endocrinology and hormonal pathways
  • Reproduction

The Reproductive Biology Faculty particularly contributes to developing and building the reproduction component of the curriculum and clinical immersion through discussion of sexual development, prenatal care (including infertility) and birth defects.

Week 3: Sex Cells

Week 3 begins the process of explaining the creation of a human by learning about gametogenesis and the neuro-hormonal reproductive axis in both men and women. Clinical vignettes include amenorrhea due to Turner syndrome and delayed puberty due to Kallmann syndrome. The cases complement one another, helping the students to understand the genetic, hormonal and physiology interactions in human reproductive development.

Week 5: Cells to Body Parts

Week 5 continues the story of human development by exploring fetal development, prenatal diagnosis, the effects of diabetes in pregnancy and fetal anomalies. Contraception and placental and pregnancy hormones are also discussed.

Design Team Members

  • Angelina K. Gangestad, MD
  • James H. Liu, MD