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Cardiovascular System

Cardiovascular System is a five week, second-year block. The block provides the fundamental knowledge necessary to understand the normal development, structure, and function of the cardiovascular system and to then apply that understanding to the assessment of patients presenting with possible cardiac disease. This block integrates anatomy, embryology, histology, and pathology to prepare students for successful clinical work. The utility of various cardiovascular imaging modalities as well as invasive cardiac catheterization are also incorporated. Disease states that are particularly emphasized in the block include coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, congestive heart failure, cardiac dysrhythmias, and congenital heart disease.

An important theme within the block is highlighting the interplay of biological, social, and system-based factors in health and disease. This includes the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

Teaching session formats will include didactic lectures, interactive lectures, flipped classrooms, large and small group case-based discussions, laboratories, independent learning modules and simulation. Each is designed to encourage learner participation and direct engagement with the subject matter. 

Upon completion of the Cardiovascular System block, the learner will be able to: 

  1. Explain the normal macro and micro anatomy of the cardiovascular system and how this structure supports normal function.
  2. Describe the physiologic mechanisms responsible for normal myocyte and heart function and blood pressure regulation.
  3. Summarize the normal development of cardiovascular system and indicate how developmental abnormalities can result in congenital heart abnormalities.
  4. Explain how pathologic processes including atherosclerosis, thrombosis and embolization develop and lead to cardiovascular disease states.
  5. Identify common risk factors for, manifestations of and complications arising from coronary artery disease.
  6. Identify common forms of valvular heart disease and their typical impact on cardiac function.
  7. Identify common forms of cardiac dysrhythmia, their appearance on ECG and expected clinical manifestation.
  8. Describe expected findings in congestive heart failure and its common causes.
  9. Explain common mechanisms of shock and the relevant approach to treatment.

Explain the pharmacology of indicated cardiovascular medications, including drugs used in the treatment of coronary artery disease, heart failure and dysrhythmias.


Updated JUNE 24 2022 | cjb