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Medicine I

Spring 2006

Elements covered by the Medicine I course. (Images adapted by Tufts OCW.)

Highlights of this Course

This course teaches the dental student basic medicine skills, from History Taking to the Physical Examination. It provides concise practical information about patient assessment, symptoms and signs of common diseases, laboratory tests, and pharmacology and prescription writing.

Course Description

Year one of a three year medical course for dental students, this course focuses on Patient Assessment, History Taking, Physical Examination, and Introduction to Pharmacology and Prescriptions.

This course provides the following competencies:

  • To be able to do a complete medical history, dental history, physical examination and intraoral assessment from a dental and a clinical pathology perspective on a patient in the dental setting.
  • To have a basic understanding of the "highest priority illnesses" including some of the symptoms and signs associated with those illnesses.
  • To have a good understanding of common antibiotics encountered in dentistry and to have some knowledge of local anesthetics and analgesics used in dentistry.
  • To learn the details of prescription writing.
  • To learn the art of writing SOAP notes in the patient's record.
  • To become aware of the special needs patient, very particularly the victims of domestic violence and patients with disabilities.
  • To understand the role of Behavioral Medicine in Dentistry.

The course content of Medicine I is taught at a pace that is perceived comfortably by the student body.  The contents per lecture may thus be completed or carried forward depending upon the student body comfort level with the understanding of the material.

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    • Determine the patient’s chief complaint.
    • Elicit a chronological account of the patient’s problem.
    • Obtain and evaluate the significant aspects of the patient's prior medical history and experience.
    • Elicit a personal, social and family history from the patient, including marital status, occupation, habits, and behavioral consistencies.
    • Determine and record the physiologic and behavioral status of the patient.
    • Perform a systemic and complete examination of the head and neck area, chest, and extremities.
    • Apply all the steps listed above to access a patient with disabilities or a victim of domestic violence.
    • Have knowledge of anesthetics, analgesics, antibiotics, and commonly encountered drugs.
    • Learn the use of Lexi-Comp Online for evaluation of drugs.

    1. Introduction

    Medicine I is the first year of the three year Medicine Course. It is a very clinically-oriented course. Attendance is not mandatory, but the student is completely responsible for information provided during class and the information in the syllabus.

    The art of patient examination and management can only be learned by constant listening, learning, interacting and applying the information appropriately -- in the preclinical setting now and in the clinical setting later. It cannot be gained solely by cramming. This is the time when you will develop the critical thinking skills which are so necessary for patient assessment.

    2. Topics

    The following topics will be discussed extensively during the course:

    1. Goals and objectives
    2. Course overview
    3. Introduction to patient examination
    4. History taking: overview and method
    5. Symptoms and signs associated with common medical conditions encountered and the pathophysiology associated with those disease states
    6. Cardiopulmonary assessment with demonstration
    7. Neurological assessment with demonstration
    8. Head and neck assessment with demonstration
    9. Extremities and abdomen assessment with demonstration
    10. Assessment of victims of violence, the disabled patient and the role of behavioral medicine in patient assessment
    11. Assessment of normal laboratory texts
    12. Medical physical examination overview and method
    13. Dental: History taking and intraoral examination by a General Dentist and an Oral Pathologist
    14. Prescription writing and endocarditis prophylaxis as recommended by the American Heart Association
    15. Using the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) for evaluation of drugs
    16. Pharmacology: Anesthetics, analgesics and antibodies

    3. Reading

    Recommended reading should serve as a source of additional information. The recommended reading is:

    • A Guide to Physical Examination & History Taking; Barbara Bates. J.B. Lippincott Co., Publishers.
    • The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy; Robert Berkow, M.D., Editor-in-Chief. Published by Merck Research Laboratories.

    3.1. Additional Suggested Reading

    • Bates B: A Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking
    • DeGowin E., DeGowin, R: Bedside Diagnostic Examination
    • Harrison: Principles of Internal Medicine
    • Kelley WN. (ed.): Textbook of Internal Medicine
    • Rose L, Kaye, D: Internal Medicine for Dentistry

    4. Exams and Grading

    From time to time during the course, you may be randomly examined on short test questions that will not be graded. This will help you in judging the style of clinically oriented questions that you should become familiar with. This in turn will help decide your best style of learning this material.

    • The Medicine Year 01 course is a two credit course.
    • There will be two exams, each contributing 50% towards the final grade.
      Session   Type Title  
      1 Lecture Patient Interview: Introduction  
      2 Lecture History Taking: Structure and Contents  
      3 Lecture Physical Examination: Structure and Detailed Discussion  
      4 Lecture Additional Signs, Symptoms, and Conditions: Definitions  
      5 Lecture Anemia: Bleeding Disorders  
      6 Lecture Cardiopulmonary Diseases  
      7 Lecture Endocrine Conditions  
      8 Lecture Fits and Faints  
      9 Lecture Gastrointestinal Dysfunctions and Diseases  
      10 Examination Exam I  
      11 Lecture Lab Tests/Signs and Symptoms of Diseases  
      12 Lecture Viral Hepatitis  
      13 Lecture Hospitalizations  
      14 Lecture Infectious Diseases  
      15 Lecture Kidneys and the Urinary Tract  
      16 Lecture Obstetric History; Likelihood of Pregnancy  
      17 Lecture Musculoskeletal System  
      18 Lecture Neurological  
      19 Lecture Ophthalmic  
      20 Lecture Psychiatric Disorders  
      21 Lecture Violence as a Health Issue  
      22 Lecture Behavioral Medicine  
      23 Lecture Dental Assessment: Physical Examination  
      24 Lecture Oral Pathology: Physical Examination  
      25 Lecture Pharmacology Part I (Antibiotics Review Sheet)  
      26 Lecture Pharmacology Part II  
      27 Examination Exam II
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