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Hollie L. Leavitt
Associate Professor
Department of Biology
College of Western Idaho
A Trip to the Eye Doctor 

This directed case study follows a young woman, Samantha, on a routine visit to her eye doctor.  While at her appointment, Samantha receives preventative care and a visual acuity exam while learning more about the anatomy and physiology of her eyes.  The case reviews the anatomical structures of the eye that are involved in vision, looks at anatomical issues that can lead to glaucoma and visual acuity issues, teaches students about light refraction by convex and concave surfaces, and then has them apply this knowledge to the light bending structures in the eye. The case concludes by covering refractive error correction through the use of lenses and LASIK surgery.  The case allows students to synthesize their understanding of eye anatomy and physiology with clinical application that many of them have likely experienced. In addition to A&P courses for first or second year university students or advanced high school students, the case may also be appropriate for courses on sensation and perception offered in psychology and neuroscience programs.

Asthma Attack! 

This interrupted case study follows the progress of a pediatric patient who experiences an acute asthma exacerbation brought on by an environmental trigger.  Students completing the case will synthesize their understanding of respiratory system anatomy and physiology with the clinical treatment of an obstructive lung disorder.  Topics reviewed include bronchoconstriction and dilation, pulmonary ventilation, air flow, gas exchange, respiratory volumes, the oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curve, pCO2, pO2, and the effects of medications used to treat asthma.  Students should have an understanding of the respiratory system before starting the case and thus it is best used at the end of the respiratory system unit as a way for students to apply what they have learned to a real-world situation.  The case was developed for an anatomy and physiology class for majors taught through the “flipped” method at a community college, but would also work well for students in a pathophysiology course or in pre-professional programs in health care.  It may also be suitable for high school students in an advanced or honors anatomy and physiology program.