HID Part II Units

Endocrine System

Endocrinology, the first unit of Health, Illness and Disease Part II,  is the study of hormones, the glands that secrete them, and their actions throughout the body. In the Endocrine Unit, we will focus on the normal structure and function of the various glands, including thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, and parathyroid, as well as disease states arising from abnormal glandular function, including diabetes mellitus and metabolic bone disease. Students will become comfortable with the evaluation and management of various endocrine diseases. Teaching modalities will include lectures, small group case discussions, patient panels, and laboratories.

Unit Leader: Rayaz Malik, MBChB, PhD

Brain and Behavior

Brain and Behavior, the first unit of Health, Illness and Disease Part II, is an integrated unit that ranges from basic neuroscience to neurological diagnosis and psychopathology. The faculty is drawn from the Departments of Neurology & Neuroscience, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics, Psychiatry, and Radiology. The course synthesizes basic science and clinical aspects of information about the central nervous system, utilizing a range of teaching techniques, with an emphasis on active student participation. In addition to attending lectures, laboratory sessions and tutorials, students engage in problem-based analysis of classical neurological and psychiatric disorders, and examine individual patients in clinic settings. The objective is both the acquisition of fundamental knowledge and the development of diagnostic skills. Acquaintance with contemporary research ideas and techniques is fostered by journal club sessions that review papers from the current literature. Computer-based educational and research tools enhance many of these activities

Unit Leader: Naim Haddad, MD


The Dermatology unit explores the spectrum of dermatologic diseases, focus on the normal structure and function of the skin, as well as the pathophysiology of inflammatory conditions (e.g., atopic dermatitis, acne); autoimmune diseases (e.g., vitiligo); neoplastic diseases (e.g., melanoma); infectious diseases (e.g., herpes, syphilis); and genetic disorders (e.g., epidermolysis bullosa). The relationship between clinical morphology of skin disorders and dermatopathology will also be discussed. The skin is a marker and window to systemic disease, and students will begin to appreciate and study cutaneous manifestations of internal disease. Visual accessibility allows examination of the gross pathology of the skin without complex equipment, and students will master the approach to visual inspection of the skin.

Unit Leader: Jonathan Zippin, MD

Infectious Disease

In this unit, the students will have acquired knowledge about important pathogens associated with individual organ systems throughout the prior HID learning units. This unit will introduce particularly complicated pathogens that affect multiple organ systems and that cause systemic infections. The students will learn the characteristics of individual pathogens and the host immune system that enable the onset of infection and that are responsible for the pathogenesis and the clinical manifestations of diseases. They will also acquire the skill to list systemically the differential of possible infectious agents that cause different clinical syndromes and to apply appropriate tests to make definitive diagnosis. Finally, they will become familiar with treatment (e.g., antimicrobial agents) and prevention (e.g., immunization) strategies for infectious diseases.

Unit Leader: Linnie Golightly, MD

Musculoskeletal and Rheumatology

The Musculoskeletal and Rheumatology unit in Health, Illness, and Disease will present the multifaceted relationship between the connective tissues of the body that are involved in mobility and the often-associated immune and inflammatory states involved in homeostasis. The development of the connective tissues and their structure-functional relationships will be explored. Skeletal remodeling and function of joints will be emphasized. The effects of the immune system in responding to pathogens and injury will be elucidated, including the interplay of the adaptive and innate systems. We will investigate the generation of autoimmunity and auto-inflammatory states, including genetic factors, as well as environmental and microbial triggers. Understanding the complex cytokine milieu of inflammatory and immune homeostasis and disease can lead to appropriate targets for treatment.

Unit Leader: Sumeja Zahirovic


In the Reproduction unit, students will acquire a deep understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of the male and female reproductive systems. The unit logically follows the time-line of male and female development. It begins with an exploration of the differential embryonic origins of the male and female genital tracts. Male and female pubertal milestones and the underlying physiology and pathophysiology of the pubertal transition are presented, along with male and female disorders of sexual development. Students then delve into male reproductive physiology, with a focus on spermatogenesis and the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular access. Students will gain an understanding of male sexual functioning and pharmacologic agents affecting male reproductive functioning. Benign and malignant disorders of the prostate are examined. Histologic and pathologic sections of male GU organs are presented in lecture and small group sessions. The second half of the unit focuses on the female reproductive system. Students gain an intricate knowledge of the female menstrual cycle and the nuances of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, along with reasons for HPO axis malfunction resulting in amenorrhea. This discussion is punctuated by a detailed overview of menopause and the physiologic processes underlying the menopausal transition. Fertility and infertility are examined, leading into a detailed discussion of healthy pregnancy and disorders unique to pregnancy. Pharmaceuticals commonly employed and/or avoided in pregnancy are also examined. Histologic sections of the female reproductive tissues in health and disease are presented and will be put in context by presentation of the most common female reproductive cancers. Moreover, the various radiologic imaging modalities specific to the pelvis are reviewed.

Unit Leader: Moune Jabre, MD

Patient Care and Physicianship

The Patient Care and Physicianship portion of Health, Illness and Disease continues the development of the core concepts in patient care and working as a physician that was initiated in the Essentials Principles of Medicine segment. Patient Care focuses on clinical evaluation skills, including the history and physical examination, communication, principles of clinical reasoning, epidemiology, biostatistics, evidence-based medicine, healthcare delivery systems, and patient safety. Physicianship embraces the doctor-patient relationship, professionalism, leadership and teamwork, ethics, humanism, and reflective practice.

Unit Leader: Sumeja Zahirovic, MD