Brody School of Medicine

ECU Brody School of Medicine Bulletin

First Year
(Blocks 1, 2, and 3)

(Note: The Brody School of Medicine Curriculum is subject to change)

Behavioral Science (Block 2)
This course focuses on the basic science of Psychiatric Medicine. Reading covers psychological and sociological aspects of human development with specific attention to the physician-patient interaction. Lectures followed by small group seminars led by psychiatry faculty are the prime teaching modality. This course also covers medical research designs, statistical methodology, and critical appraisal of the medical literature.

Doctoring I (Blocks 1 and 2)
The Doctoring course integrates basic biomedical and psycho-social sciences with clinical medicine into a system for comprehensive, humanistic care. The knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for developing a therapeutic physician-patient relationship as the fundamental unit of health care are taught. The principles of clinical diagnosis based on the medical history, physical examination, basic pathophysiology and clinical reasoning are also taught systematically through lectures, small group instruction and self-directed learning activities. Students practice interviewing and examination techniques with standardized and real patients, and acquire facility in medical communication and in formulating diagnostic hypotheses through oral and written patient presentations. The classroom, examination room, small group sessions, on-line information activities, home and community are the settings for learning basic concepts of primary care. Preceptorship experiences with faculty and community preceptors are important parts of this course.

Ethical Issues in Medicine (Block 1)
This course reviews basic ethical issues in medical practice and develops critical thinking skills for addressing problems of clinical ethics. In introductory lectures and small group discussion sessions, students and faculty examine a variety of issues including informed consent, surrogate decision making, truthfulness, confidentiality, professional boundaries, access to health care, abortion, advance care planning and limitation of life-sustaining treatment.

M1 Foundations of Medicine (Blocks 1, 2, and 3)
This course prepares students with the foundational skills in academic performance, self-assessment, team building, diagnostic reasoning, patient safety and quality improvement and career planning as part of their medical education. Participation of this course is continued into the second year.

Gross Anatomy and Embryology (Block 1)
This course focuses on the structure and development of the human body. Students learn anatomy primarily from dissection of human cadavers and prosection demonstrations. Embryology and radiology lectures are integrated topically with the area of the body being dissected. Clinical relevance and application are emphasized during laboratory by faculty and in guest lectures by practicing physicians.

Medical Biochemistry (Block 1)
This course correlates biological function and molecular structure. Lecture topics and clinical examples illustrate progress from the molecular level through more complex levels of organization and function. Major subject areas include chemistry and function of enzymes and other proteins, metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids, gene biochemistry and expression, tissue and organ metabolism and regulation, and metabolism in abnormal cells.

Medical Genetics (Block 3)
This course expands on clinical material to illustrate basic genetic principles and application of basic science techniques to the evaluation, management, and treatment of genetic disease. The impact of genetics on families and society is explored in lectures on genetic counseling, public health genetics and ethics.

Histology and Cell Biology (Block 1)
Microscopic Anatomy presents three basic areas of histology: (1) modern concepts of cell biology; (2) organization of cells and extracellular matrix into tissues; and (3) structure-function relationships in organ systems. Laboratory sessions utilize an excellent collection of histological images of tissue sections and electron micrographs.

Medical Microbiology & Immunology (Blocks 2 and 3)
This course teaches the basic and clinical principles of immunology, virology, and microbiology as these disciplines relate to human disease. Major topics include immunology, virology and molecular genetics. Innate and acquired mechanisms of immunity, preventative and prophylactic measures, host-parasite relationships, pathophysiology and epidemiology are discussed in relation to the spectrum of immunologic and infectious disease. Lecture, clinical conferences and laboratory are used to emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of microbiology and immunology. The second half of the course includes medical bacteriology, mycology and parasitology. As with previous topics, the basic concepts of each subdiscipline are reviewed and developed into the concepts required for medical practice. Host-parasite relationships, epidemiology, pathophysiology of infection and disease, and therapeutic and preventive measures are discussed in relation to the physiology and ultrastructure of the infectious agent. Clinical lectures and small group case conferences with faculty specializing in infectious diseases and other disciplines complement the basic science fundamentals. Laboratory instruction and exercises emphasize the development of precautions and skills in handling infectious agents, proper communication with the clinical laboratory, and an understanding of the role of the clinical laboratory in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.

Medical Neuroscience (Block 2)
This is an integrated course, combining principles of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and the clinical neurosciences that are appropriate for medical students entering primary care disciplines. It encompasses the anatomy and physiology of neurons in the human nervous system at organ, cellular and molecular levels. Lectures cover the synaptic and topographic relations of neurons, the distribution and function of neurotransmitters, the functional organization of the central nervous system, its development and maturation, and its response to aging and damage. The in situ relationships of the central nervous system and its coverings are correlated with several diagnostic procedures including magnetic resonance imaging. Laboratory sessions include the study of prosected human brain specimens as well as the study of images of transverse sections of brain, brainstem and spinal cord.

Medical Physiology (Block 2)
This course presents the basic principles of cell physiology followed by an in-depth examination of the organ systems - muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal and endocrine systems. Special attention is given to the integrative nature of organ system behavior and to interactive control mechanisms. Presentation is by lectures, laboratories, and clinical case discussions.

Society, Culture, and Health Systems (Blocks 3 and 4)
This course builds on the first year medical ethics course by examining various aspects of the milieu in which medical practice is conducted. It explores a variety of topics from historical, sociological, literary, anthropological, economic and policy perspectives. Subjects include illness and suffering; families and illness; gender issues in medicine; race and ethnicity; medicine and religion; culture and medicine; difference and disability; labeling and stigmatization; the role of technology in medicine; complementary and alternative medicine; and health care reform in the United States. Students write an illness narrative reflecting on the ways that cultural and social factors influenced them and their families during a time of sickness. Each session of the course begins with a lecture, followed by a small group discussion with a humanist and a clinician.