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Respiratory System

The Respiratory System is a 5-week block that will educate students on lung development, histology, and normal function of the respiratory system. A breakdown of specific topics will include but not be limited to mechanics of ventilation, gas exchange, obstructive lung disease, restrictive lung disease, neoplasms, infections, pulmonary vascular disease including venous thromboembolism, and pharmacology. There will be a recognition of pediatric and adult pulmonary disorders and unique disease manifestations based on age.

The Respiratory System block will focus on common pulmonary disorders that will be encountered during clinical adult and pediatric rotations that all students will participate in. We would like to assure that all students are comfortable to evaluate and diagnose the most common lung diseases seen in a primary care setting.

The learning environment for this block will include combinations of standard didactic lectures, interactive classroom settings, flipped classrooms, case-based discussions, simulation/laboratory, and independent learning sessions. This combined approach will allow students to be more actively engaged with their education and enhance their experience.

During this block, there will be a goal to include the study of social determinants of health, health systems science, and epidemiology as they relate to the pulmonary system. There is a goal to include Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within the health care setting relating to the care of patients and all members of the health care system.

After completion of the Respiratory Block, the learner will be able to:

  1. Recognize the basic anatomy of the respiratory tract starting in the upper airway and the transition to the lower airways and ending at the alveolus.
  2. Appreciate other anatomical parts of the respiratory system that impact control and function of breathing.
  3. Be able to summarize the development, structure, and function of the respiratory system.
  4. Understand normal pulmonary physiology and the relationship to pulmonary diseases.
  5. Learn and recognize imaging techniques that help in the evaluation of pulmonary diseases.
  6. Appreciate other diagnostic evaluations of pulmonary diseases including but not limited to bronchoscopies, which may also have a therapeutic role.
  7. Learn about pharmacology in relation to the many pulmonary diseases encountered and potential age-related considerations
  8. Be able to describe the differences between obstructive lung disease and restrictive lung disease as well as learn common differential diagnoses within each category.
  9. Appreciate other less common lung diseases including the diverse types of interstitial lung diseases and pulmonary vasculitis disorders
  10. Learn and understand the many infectious disease topics that affect the respiratory system including common viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens that may infect upper and/or lower airways and therapeutic options to consider.
  11. Consider neoplastic disorders that may occur in the respiratory tract.
  12. Be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of respiratory failure and basic support measures to stabilize a patient.
  13. Learn about social determinants of health in the community and health care system and impact on respiratory disorders such as asthma and allergic diseases.
  14. Utilize case-based learning and interactive learning sessions to stimulate discussions regarding health equity in relation to respiratory diseases.
  15. Learn how our changing environment impacts respiratory health, especially for those of lower socioeconomic status

Updated JUNE 24 2022 | cjb