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First 100 Weeks

Educaton FOW

Human Condition(HC)

The Human Condition(HC) provides an integrated presentation of the factors that make us uniquely human. The course addresses the development, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, and structure of the central and peripheral nervous system from the cellular to the organismic level.

The course is a journey through the structure and function of the neuroaxis.  We address our ability to transduce information, conduct it along peripheral nerves and send it through the spinal cord, to the brain.  In the opposite direction, motor function and coordination are tracked from the cortex to the muscle, paying attention to modifying factors that can affect it along the way. 
We explore the pathogenesis and therapeutic approaches to sensory dysfunction (including pain and the special senses) and motor dysfunction (including disorders of tone and strength).

The neuropsychiatric section is an important component of the course, preceded by an overview of the limbic system. The approach to psychiatric function and illness begins with basic principles of psychiatry and human cognitive development and transitions into specific psychiatric disorders presented from a clinical diagnostic and interventional perspective, with attention to what is known about the underlying pathophysiology of these disorders. Psychiatry is the final clinical experience provided in ICE to the students in this course, the Human Condition.
Structure labs are dedicated to both gross and microscopic neuroanatomy, the special senses, and head and neck anatomy, with an added focus on neuro-imaging.  All are aligned with several sessions for learning the complete neurologic examination.


  • Course Goals

    Course Goals: The Human Condition

    1. Understand the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems and how specific clinical manifestations can be localized therein, relying on a firm knowledge of gross anatomy, histology and pathology.
    2. Describe the structure and function of the brainstem and spinal cord in health and disease and understand the location and function of the cranial and peripheral nerves.
    3. Develop an approach to the diagnosis of motor and sensory dysfunction (as well as pain) and their impact on patients' lives.
    4. Perform and be able to interpret the findings of a complete neurological examination.
    5. Correlate an understanding of the systems that modulate movement with normal and abnormal tone and coordination.
    6. Apply knowledge of embryology to the development of the adult head, neck, and nervous system.
    7. Apply principles of clinical epidemiology and evidence-based medicine in approaching diagnosis and treatment of disease.
    8. Understand normal and abnormal development and human behavior across the lifespan.
    9. Demonstrate emerging critical thinking skills in problem solving of common clinical problems in neurological and psychiatric diseases.
    10. Understand the role of imaging modalities in the diagnosis of diseases of the nervous system and the head and neck, and interpret fundamental imaging studies of these systems.
    11. Recognize the influence of bio-psychosocial factors in the context of the clinical topics of the course.
    12. Perform and document a mental status exam.
    13. Describe the bony and soft-tissue structures of the head and neck, correlating them with the structures of the central and peripheral nervous system.
    14. Experience positive role-modeling of patient-physician relationships.
    15. Experience meaningful patient encounters in ICE.
    16. Develop a longitudinal relationship with an ICE preceptor.
    17. Prepare, present and facilitate discussion of higher order questions.
    18. Perform a detailed and concise self-assessment of performance.
    19. Perform a detailed and concise group assessment of performance.
    20. Understand how to work as a productive member of a group.
  • Clinical Learning Objectives

    Clinical Learning Objectives: The Human Condition

    Runs from January-March of MS 2 year 

    A: Assist               P: Perform

    History, Communication and Clinical Reasoning Skills Physical Exam Procedures/Screens/Documentation
    Obtain a Complete History with Agenda Setting (P) Conduct a Core Physical Exam (P) Document a History of Present Illness (HPI) (P)
    Obtain a History of Present Illness (HPI) (P) Conduct a Mental Status Exam (P) Document an Interval History (P)
    Obtain an Interval History (P) Conduct a Neurologic Exam Document a Mental Status Exam (P)
    Generate a Differential Diagnosis (P) Document a Physical Exam
    Perform an Oral Patient Presentation (P) Screen for Domestic Violence
    Perform a Psychiatric Interview
  • Assessment Methods

    Assessment Methods

    Students are assessed in a variety of ways to generate a grade in the courses completed in the First 100 Weeks. A faculty member or a resident who is responsible for supervising the student will be expected to complete one or more assessment forms. The questions/anchors can be found on the First 100 Weeks assessment page.

Typical Week of Study