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Catherine Dana Santanello
Associate Professor
csantan@siue.edu
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Blake's Illness: A Case of Wildlife Management

Blake is sick.  With his background in the sciences and a little help from the Internet, he should be able to do a self-diagnosis.  Or can he?  As the case unfolds, students follow the course of Blake's illness.  Part I of the case details the initial signs of Blake's illness and his attempts at self-diagnosis.  Students are asked to identify a potential list of disorders based on the limited symptoms presented.  Part II describes the results of the doctors’ physical exam and initial laboratory tests.  At this point, students should be able to narrow the list of possibilities.  Part III reveals the cause of the illness and the course of treatment.  The case works well as an interrupted case that can be assigned to individual students or student teams.  It was written for a School of Pharmacy microbiology course, but could easily be used in a medical microbiology or infectious diseases course.


East Meets West: An Infectious Disease Case

Ying is sick and is progressively getting worse. His parents' clashing views on Eastern and Western medicine prevent them from agreeing on a course of treatment. As the case unfolds, students follow the progression of their son's illness. After a physician is finally seen and the results of tests are evident, students should be able to narrow the list of possible etiological agents and suggest a potential treatment. In addition, the students should integrate the different health beliefs into the final treatment as well as the aspects of patient counseling. The case works well as an interrupted case that can be assigned to individual students or student teams. This case is appropriate for graduate courses with a component in health care, therapeutics, medicinal chemistry, medicinal plants, microbiology, epidemiology, or cultural competency. Instructors can choose to focus only on the medical components of the case or incorporate the cultural and ethical aspects, depending on course goals and subject area.


Ecotourism: Who Benefits? 

The main objective of this case is to have students critically examine the costs and the benefits associated with ecotourism, a form of  tourism usuallly involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial mass tourism. Although ecotourism has among its goals to provide funds for ecological conservation as well as economic benefit and impowerment to local communities, it can result in the exploitation of the natural resources (and communities) it seeks to protect.  In this case study, students assess ecotourism in Costa Rica by considering the viewpoints of a displaced landowner, banana plantation worker, environmentalist, state official, U.S. trade representative, and national park employee.  Working in small groups, students evaluate the case scenario and develop a strategy to provide balance between the various stakeholders and the delicate ecosystem.  The case was developed for a study abroad course in Costa Rica but could be applied to traditional courses in sociology, international business, political science, bioethics, or public administration and policy analysis.


Sarah's Sickness: The Diagnosis and Treatment of an Infectious Disease

This story is based on the true account of a student who suffered years of misdiagnoses of her illness while she was in a professional school. As the case evolves, students follow the course of Sarah's illness. Part I of the case details the signs of her initial illness, with students being asked to identify a potential list of disorders that could be plaguing her. Part II describes the results of her physical exam and initial laboratory tests. It also introduces medication therapy management options and monitoring for side effects of drugs. Part III reveals the complication of a co-infection and ties concepts of immunology with the pathophysiology of her condition. This case works well as an interrupted case that can be assigned to individual students or it can be used with student teams. It was written for a School of Pharmacy microbiology and immunology course, but could be used in a medical or nursing microbiology course, an infectious diseases course, or a medication therapy management course.


The Case of a Tropical Disease and its Treatment: Science, Society, and Economics

This case study highlights the epidemiological and socioeconomic factors associated with a disease which plagues thousands of people in Central and South America.  The case follows the story of Adrian, a banana plantation worker in southwestern Costa Rica who develops a mysterious illness.  Students learn about infectious diseases, pathogens, and vectors endemic to the region, and are asked to diagnose Adrian’s illness and consider his dilemma with respect to treatment options.  The case is appropriate for courses with a component in health care, pharmacology, microbiology, medical anthropology, ethnobotany, or epidemiology.  Instructors can choose to focus more on the biological components of the case or more on the socioeconomic and ethical aspects, depending on course goals and subject area.