Module Director

Yvonne Hernandez, PhD

Module Goals

This Module will introduce you to the various cardiovascular diseases, many of which are common in the general population. Because many of these conditions are chronic and can impact other tissues and organs, it is important that you understand their pathophysiology and treatment. All of you, regardless of which area of medicine you pursue, will encounter patients with cardiovascular disease.

There are several goals of this module: to introduce the cardiovascular diseases in terms of their basic pathophysiologic mechanisms; to discuss chest pain and other clinical features in the context of specific diseases; to incorporate pertinent laboratory tests and ancillary studies into clinical problem solving; and to provide a solid background and understanding of the pharmacologic agents and non-pharmacologic interventions used to treat cardiovascular disorders.

There are four main sections in this module:

  • Lipids/atherosclerosis/chest pain/angina and myocardial infarction
  • Hypertension
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Rhythm disturbances

 The module will also cover congenital heart disease, aneurysms, inflammatory disorders and cardiomyopathies. The EBM session will focus on the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction. The wrap-up sessions covering myocardial infarction, hypertension and congestive heart failure will further emphasize the importance and the impact of these diseases in health care. This is a very challenging module that requires a thorough understanding of the material. You are encouraged to keep up with the material daily so you can actively participate in class, particularly in the clinical case discussions. The module includes sessions from various courses including Pharmacology, Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Skills Primer and Evidence-Based Medicine.

One of the curriculum improvements accomplished in this module is the sequencing of the Clinical Skills Primer Sessions on electrocardiography prior to the lectures on the therapies for conduction abnormalities. The Clinical Skills Small Group Sessions focus on understanding the electrical properties of the heart that underlie the electrocardiogram and to interpreting conduction abnormalities in the EKG that occur during ischemia and other pathological conditions. This will form the basis for your understanding of the mechanisms of the anti-arrhythmic drugs and devices.