BIO 218: Human Pathophysiology

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Course Description

  • This course surveys disease processes that affect the body systems, focusing on the altered physiological mechanisms in cells and organ systems.
  •  We will learn the primary mechanisms of diseases - immune, infection, trauma, cancer, heredity, and metabolic assault - and show how they affect the various organ systems.


Prerequisites for the course

  • This course has the prerequisites of BIO 201 and BIO 202 (two-semester Human Anatomy & Physiology).  Understanding how the body normally functions is essential to understanding how diseases can occur in the body.


Required materials for the course

  • Textbook and Medical dictionary
  • Check the CCC Bookstore or current course syllabus for specifics on these materials.


Course schedule format

  • Lecture sessions occur twice per week for 2 hours per session.  Expect to be in class each session for the full time period (breaks are available), as we have a lot to do each period.  If you miss a class period, contact the instructor to keep up on the material (don't just wait until the next period to find out what you missed).
  • A schedule of specific daily activities can be found in the syllabus and in the course's Canvas shell.


Course activities

  • Lectures will cover the major points of each chapter.  The course packet contains summary sheets - lists of terms and concepts to know for each chapter - that will be invaluable for studying for exams.
  • Case studies will allow groups of students to work together to diagnose a fictional patient.  You will determine what is wrong with the patient and what diagnostic tests can help you confirm your diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Review exercises will occur during and after each lab, helping you to reinforce the concepts recently covered.  These will help you determine what you are strong in and what you need to study as you prepare for your lecture exams and lab practical exams.



  • Quizzes will follow each chapter.  There are practice quizzes in Canvas; use these to prepare for lecture.
  • Exams will occur after each third chapter, covering all three chapters' worth of material.  They will have similar types of questions as seen in the quizzes, but will also include case studies and short essay questions.
  • Final exam will occur at the end of the semester.  This exam will be comprehensive over all of the material of the course.  Use the summary sheets to prepare for this exam.
  • Other graded assignments may be added to the course.  The instructor will inform you of these assignments as they approach.


Succeeding in the course

  • Keep track of upcoming lectures, labs, and assignments.
  • Read the chapters before arriving.  If lecture sounds a little familiar, it becomes a much more useful time than hearing everything new for the first time during lecture.
  • Take good notes.  Don't try to write down every single word.  Write down big concepts and key terms.  Make notes to research for later.
  • Within 24 hours of lecture, re-read the chapter.  Re-write your lecture notes, filling in the details that you wanted to research.  Write the concepts in terms and phrases that make sense to you.
  • Create study sheets, note cards, or flash cards.  Use these routinely to keep all of the material fresh and current in your mind.
  • Plan to spend at least 10-15 hours each week outside of class on preparing for and review after lectures and studying for exams.
  • Review with your classmates.  Explaining concepts to each other is a proven way to increase memory and improve overall performance.
  • Don't give up.  Keep track of your exams and where your grades stand in the course.  If you aren't doing as well as you would like, talk to the instructor, your classmates, or Student Services about how to improve your performance in the course.


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