School of Medicine

Foundational Sciences Course Descriptions


* Course credits pertain to 2022-2023 academic year.

Age-Related Topics (ARTS): MBART-MAIN                                                                               
The goals of this course are to provide an introduction to both pediatric and geriatric clinical medicine by highlighting the similarities and differences in basic principles of pathophysiology as they pertain to patients at either end of the age spectrum.

Credits: 1.00
Course Co-Directors: Shweta Parmekar, M.D. and Anita Major, M.D.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Sciences: MBBES-MAIN
The goals of this course are to increase the learner's understanding of the biological, psychological, social and cultural processes that influence normative development across the lifespan; and to increase the learner's understanding of mental illnesses including diagnosis, psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. Along with the increased knowledge in course content, secondary goals are to provide avenues for enhanced awareness about the implications of personal bias and application of these principles in clinical encounters. This course is designed to create a foundation of knowledge that will be used in the Psychiatry clerkship.

Credits: 3.25 
Course Director: Sindhu Idicula, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Edore Onigu-Otite, M.D.

CABS-Business and Leadership in Medicine: MCBLM-MAIN
The goals for the course are for the learner to identify and describe key features of health insurance construction and delivery in the US; discuss key policies that shape health insurance status and care delivery; identify common structures and approaches for health care provider payments; compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses for different models of provider reimbursement; and assess recent evolutions in physician practice arrangements and show how they interact with contemporary reimbursement models and emphases on quality of care.

Credits: 0.75 
Course Director: Theresa Tran, M.D., M.B.A.
Associate Course Director: Michael Richards, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Associate Course Director: Juliet Holder-Haynes, M.D.

Dermatology: MCDRM-MAIN
The goals of this course are to provide the fundamentals for understanding the pathophysiology of common dermatologic diseases; provide an understanding and knowledge of the pertinent history, clinical exam findings, and diagnostic clinical testing/strategies utilized for dermatologic diseases; and to reinforce the application of and integration of clinical findings to diagnostic differentials and treatment for dermatologic diseases to prepare the learner to transition from the classroom to the clinical setting.

Credits: 0.75 
Course Co-Directors: Soo Jung Kim, M.D., Ph.D. and Ikue Shimizu, M.D., B.A.

CABS-Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM): MCEBM-MAIN
The goals of this course are to develop a pattern of life-long learning by identifying, analyzing, and synthesizing information relevant to one's learning needs, develop skills in seeking and assessing the credibility of information and resources, utilize evidence-based decision-making in patient care, and to practice team problem solving in a 'safe' environment by practicing to share information with peers and colleagues. Students will continue to develop skills in basic biostatistics and epidemiology used in the medical literature and practice applying them to patient care.

Credits: 0.75
Course Director: Cara Foldes, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Course Director: Sowdhamini Wallace, D.O.

The goals of this course are to integrate basic concepts of nutrition relevant to pathophysiology encountered in common clinical settings in which nutrition plays an especially important role, including that encountered in patients with gastrointestinal, hepatic, endocrine, renal and cardiac disease; and to understand the potential role of nutritional guidance or intervention in reducing the incidence or severity of common medical disorders.

Credits: 0.75
Course Director: Craig Jensen, M.D.

Cardiology: MBCAR-MAIN
The goals of this course are to provide introduction to clinical cardiology including the heart as a pump, electrocardiography and treatment of cardiac rhythm disorders, heart sounds, heart failure, acute coronary syndromes, sudden cardiac death, cardiomyopathies, pericarditis, valvular heart disease and congenital heart disease. The pathophysiology, prevention and management of atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, valvular disease, cardiac arrhythmias as well as prevention and treatment of hypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors as well as treatment of various prevalent heart diseases such as heart failure and coronary artery disease will be considered.

Credits: 2.25
Co-Course Director: Savitri Fedson, M.D.
Co-Course Director: Tobias Schlingmann, M.D.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: MBCTP-MAIN
The goal of the course is to ensure pre-clinical students develop a system for critical thinking and medical problem solving using integrated, patient-based cases.  Students will work through cases using a team-based approach. Students will build a problem-solving framework that focuses on asking appropriate questions, acquiring accurate information, analyzing the evidence and articulating a rational argument. Additionally, in order to develop life-long learning skills needed to be an exemplary student/doctor, students will identify and apply self-regulated learning strategies to include metacognitive awareness and self-reflection throughout the course.

Credits: 1.50
Course Director: Sarah Bezek, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Robert McArthur, M.D.

Endocrinology: MBEND-MAIN
The goals of this course are to provide the fundamentals for understanding the pathophysiology of common endocrine disorders; provide an understanding and knowledge of the pertinent history, clinical exam findings, and diagnostic clinical testing/strategies utilized for common endocrine disorders; provide an understanding and knowledge of the principles of endocrinology and treatment strategies; and to reinforce the application of and integration of clinical findings to diagnostic differentials and treatment for endocrine disorders to prepare the learner to transition from the classroom to the clinical setting.

Credits: 1.75 
Course Director: Sanjay Mediwala, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Nidhi Bansal, M.D.

The goals of this course are to provide opportunities for students to master core knowledge of ethics in clinical practice and to master reasoning skills of ethics in clinical practice.

Credits: 1.50
Course Director: Christi Guerrini, J.D., M.P.H.
Associate Course Director: Claire Horner, J.D., M.A.

Foundations Basic to the Science of Medicine (FBSM): MBFBS-MAIN
The goals of this course are to increase students' knowledge of basic biomedical sciences and ability to integrate and apply these foundational sciences to the practice of medicine. By the end of this course, students will be sufficiently literate to interpret an article in a major medical journal, learn to integrate basic science concepts across traditional scientific disciplines (biochemistry, bioenergetics, biostatistics, cell biology, embryology, genetics, gross anatomy, histology, nutrition, pharmacology, physiology), and apply basic science to clinical pathophysiology, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Students will also develop attitudes and behaviors appropriate to the medical profession and will recognize how to foster the lifelong learning required for maintaining scientific and clinical competence throughout their careers.

Credits: 18.75
Course Director: Sandra B. Haudek, Ph.D.
Associate Course Director: Elizabeth Hartwell, M.D.
Associate Course Director (Nervous System): J. Cay Goodman, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Bryan Jiang, M.D.
Associate Course Director (Pharmacology): Ram Reddy, Ph.D.
Associate Course Director (Head & Neck Anatomy, Nervous System): Ming Zhang, Ph.D.

Gastroenterology (GI): MBGST-MAIN
The goal of this course is to increase knowledge of the gastrointestinal system and common disease processes that can affect its function. These include disorders of the luminal gastrointestinal tract – esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon – as well as the liver, pancreas and gall bladder.

Credits: 2.0
Course Director: Milena Gould Suarez, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Richa Shukla, M.D.

General Pharmacology: MBPHR-MAIN
The goal of this course is to increase students' general knowledge of pharmacology and particularly pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, adrenergic drugs, and cholinergic drugs. Antimicrobial drugs are introduced as a prelude to the Infectious Diseases course. Students will be able to describe drug uptake, distribution, action and elimination; have integrated their knowledge of the autonomic nervous system with the drugs and receptors that function in the adrenergic and cholinergic components of the autonomic nervous system; list the stages of the drug discovery and approval process; and properly write a drug prescription, taking into account knowledge of young, adult and senior patient populations.

Credit: 1.75
Course Director: Munder Zagaar, Ph.D., PharmD
Associate Course Director: Sarah Shafer, M.D.

Genetics: MBGNT-MAIN
The over-arching goal of this course is to introduce the students to the discipline and practice of medical genetics and genomics for the prenatal, pediatric, and adult patient by identifying genetic disorders related to connective tissue, dysmorphology, neurology, cardiovascular problems, skeletal dysplasias, hearing problems and cancer ; by interpreting molecular and cytogenetic tests used to diagnose genetic conditions and by understanding the ethical implications of genetic disorders and their impact on patients and their families. This course is designed to create a foundation of knowledge for the genetic and genomic basis of diseases as it pertains to all specialties of medicine and to empower the student to be able to use this knowledge in the specialty of their choice.

Credits: 1.25
Course Director: Shweta Dhar, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Daryl Scott, M.D., Ph.D.

Genitourinary/Gynecology (GU/GYN): MBGUG-MAIN
The goal of this course is to introduce the student to the discipline of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Urology.  Topics covered include pregnancy, breast cancer, birth control, infertility in addition to the pathology of the male and female reproductive systems and urinary system.

Credits: 1.25 
Course Co-Directors: Jennifer Bercaw-Pratt, M.D. and Nicolette Janzen, M.D.

Head and Neck Anatomy: MBHNA-MAIN
The goals of this course are careful dissection and understanding of the head and neck with emphasis on the skull and cranial cavity, orbit, ear, facial nerve and parotid gland, muscles of the face and scalp, function of the suprahyoid and infratemporal regions, pharynx, nasal cavity and sinuses, and larynx. Furthermore, there is an introduction to radiology and embryology of the face and neck. The cranial nerves are carefully defined in terms of innervations, motor and sensory functions, and autonomic pathways. Microanatomy of the eye and ear, including the retina and the organ of Corti, are presented to future physicians. General Sensory processing and basic ophthalmologic and ENT surgical procedures of interest are also included. This course functions as a prerequisite to the subsequent Nervous System course.

Credits: 3.00 
Course Director: Ming Zhang, Ph.D.
Associate Course Director: Sarah Blutt, Ph.D.
Associate Course Director: Angela Haskins, M.D.

Hematology/Oncology: MBHMO-MAIN

The goals of this course are to increase knowledge of the pathophysiology of hematopoiesis and hemostasis and to integrate and apply knowledge of the regulation and function of blood cells and coagulation, acquire the principles of transfusion medicine, increase knowledge of the principles of cancer medicine and treatment strategies, and know the actions and complications of the major categories of cancer therapeutic agents, targeted therapies and cellular based therapy.   As many specific cancers are taught in their appropriate systems courses, this course can be summarized as the details of hematology and the principles of oncology.

Credits: 2.5 
Co-Course Director: Mark Udden, M.D.
Co-Course Director: Andrea N. Marcogliese, M.D.

Immunologic/Pathologic Basis of Disease: MBIPD-MAIN
The goals of this course are to prepare the students to approach the study of diseases and apply those principles to clinical diagnosis. This approach will be through both Immunology and the principles of General (systemic) Pathology. The normal and deranged immune system will be covered in relationship to the pathology of inflammation, autoimmunity, infections, tumors and autoimmune disorders. The fundamental cellular and tissue responses to injury, hemodynamic disorders, neoplasia and infection are covered.

Credits: 3.75 
Course Director:  Christine Roth, M.D.,MMM
Associate Course Director: William Decker, Ph.D.
Associate Course Director: Maren Fuller, M.D.

Infectious Diseases: MBIND-MAIN
The goals of this course are to provide an introduction to the basic principles and clinical aspects of infectious diseases including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites; introduce pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of different infectious diseases as well as aspects of prevention; and to further expand the concepts of differential diagnosis in infectious diseases.

Credits: 6.25
Course Director: Shital Patel, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Prathit Kulkarni, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Hana El Sahly, M.D.

Intersession: Service Learning, Wellness and Narrative Medicine
The goals for this course are to provide the fundamentals for understanding the importance of and need for personal wellness as a student and physician, to integrate and apply the learned wellness skills into the student’s life; to make personal gains in professionalism, empathy, and interpersonal skills through active Service Learning, and to gain personal insight and coping through active reflection with Narrative Medicine. Service Learning will be done at selected sites throughout Houston, where students will be immersed in both the daily activities and programmatic planning of community service organizations.  Students will develop skills to identify community needs relevant to an organization and work directly with employees to deliver the services offered.  Students will be introduced to Wellness topics both didactically and through active learning gaining experience and knowledge in multiple wellness dimensions (Physical, Spiritual, Financial, Environmental, Emotional, Intellectual, and Social).   The Narrative Medicine course will help tie together the various experiences in Service Learning and Wellness, allowing the student to learn reflection as a means to wellness and insight.  Students will complete the course with a mini-poster/spoken and written word program. 

Credits: 0.5
Course Director: E. Lee Poythress, M.D.

Nervous System: MBNRS-MAIN
The goal of this course is to provide an intense and thorough encounter with the nervous system so that students are prepared for their clinical clerkships, and for further scientific and clinical mastery of this discipline. Clinically relevant neuroanatomy and neurophysiology are covered in such a way that students will master clinical localization and pathophysiology. Specific disease states are introduced with consideration of pathophysiology, diagnostics and therapeutics to foster understanding of clinical neuroscience and to prepare students for the Neurology clerkship.  The major focus is clinical localization and differential diagnosis of neurological disorders so that diagnostic and therapeutic plans can be formulated.

Credits: 6.75
Course Director: Atul Maheshwari, M.D.
Associate Course Director: J. Clay Goodman, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Vaishnav Krishnan, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Course Director: Ming Zhang, Ph.D.

Patient Safety: MBPSA-MAIN
The goal of this course is to prepare learners with the foundational knowledge necessary to understand the context, key principles and competencies associated with the discipline of patient safety in the delivery of healthcare services. Additionally, students will learn to recognize weaknesses in our medical system that can lead to patient safety events and will be empowered to promote a culture of safety in the clinical environment.

Credits: 0.50 
Course Director: Sara Andrabi, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Maryam Shafaee, M.D., M.P.H.

The goals of this course are to provide an introduction to clinical nephrology: specifically, the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, and management of abnormalities in electrolytes and acid base, glomerulonephritis, kidney histology, acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease, in adults and children. The learner will learn how dialysis and transplantation has shaped public policy. Utilizing common clinical scenarios and case-based group activity facilitate the transition from classroom to bedside.

Credits: 1.75
Course Director: Bryan M, Tucker, D.O.
Associate Course Director: Siloe Alvarado, M.D. 

Research and Populations in Medicine: MBTRP-MAIN
The goal of this course is to apply knowledge in translational research and population health to patient care, through active learning. By the end of this course, students will understand the fundamentals of conducting clinical research and how to apply research findings to guide patient care. Critical thinking and utilizing data for clinical decision making is emphasized

Credits: 3.25
Course Director: Jessica Davila, Ph.D.
Course Associate Director: Daryl Scott, M.D., Ph.D.

Respiratory: MBRSP-MAIN
The goal of this course is to provide the fundamentals for understanding the pathophysiology of common respiratory diseases. By the end of the course, students will be able to: correlate history, clinical exam findings, and diagnostic clinical testing/strategies in order to form a differential diagnosis for common respiratory diseases; evaluate pathological images to diagnose respiratory disorders; and summarize pharmacological and non-pharmacological management options for common respiratory disorders.

Credits: 1.75
Course Director: Dharani Narendra, M.D.
Associate Course Director: Helina Wakwaya, M.D.

Transition to Clinical Rotations: MBITC-MAIN
The goal of this course is to facilitate the transition of second-year Baylor medical students from the basic sciences to the clinical years. The goal is to provide basic skills and information to allow students to readily participate in patient care. At the end of the course, second-year students will be able to describe effective studying strategies for clinical rotations; demonstrate how to glove and gown using sterile technique; maintain sterile environment in the OR; navigate the EMR to find pertinent information; manage commonly described interpersonal and intrateam stressors on the wards; understand what is expected on a typical day on the wards for a given clerkship and how to succeed as a ward clerk; compose a SOAP note; and to discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate types of public disclosure concerning clinical experiences.

Credits: 0.75
Course Co-Directors: Meghan McClure, M.D. and Katie Scally, M.D.