The course ‘Function and Dysfunction’ integrates the disciplines of physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, surgical pathology (gross and microscopic), and clinical pathology. These disciplines, particularly the latter two, provide a bridge between the basic sciences and clinical medicine. Broadly, the overall goal of this course is that: ‘Students will gain a competent understanding of the integrated function and dysfunction of body systems from the molecular/cellular level to the whole organism. Within this context, students will appreciate the fundamental basis of relevant diagnostic techniques and appropriate therapeutic strategies.’
The animal body comprises a large set of highly complex, but integrated, biological systems that operate over a wide range of levels, from the molecular to the whole animal. These systems provide mechanisms for gathering information from and interacting with both the external and internal environment, maintaining stability of the internal environment, and repairing structures and mechanisms that have undergone injury. This course is designed to develop an understanding of how an animal maintains itself as a functional organism in the face of environmental challenges, disease entities, functional and structural disorders, and injuries of all sorts. Principles learned in the course General Pathology will find application within the context of specific tissues and organ systems. This course is concerned with understanding how body systems work, how they are controlled and regulated, how veterinarians assess their function, what can go wrong with them, how they undergo repair, and how the veterinarian can aid the repair process.
The various disciplines that contribute to this course are organised into the following sections: Nervous System and General Pharmacology, Skeletal Muscle, Blood, Urinary System, Cardiovascular System, Respiratory System, Gastrointestinal Tract, Liver, Pancreas, Endocrine System, Reproductive System, and Ruminants. Each section of the course will address the relevant physiology, pathology, and pharmacology of the system of interest using a problem-based approach.