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David F. Dean
Professor
ddean@shc.edu
Department of Biology
Spring Hill College
A Case of a Pheochromocytoma 

“Rollie Hendrix,” a 35-year-old husband and father of three children, has been experiencing headaches and palpitations of increasing frequency and severity over the past six months. In addition, he has had periods of intense anxiety and panic attacks. Students read about these symptoms and then answer a set of directed questions designed to teach facts and principles of anatomy and physiology using reference books, textbooks, the Internet, and each other as sources of information. The case has been used in both a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology and a senior-level course in general physiology.


A Case of Acute Pancreatitis 

The pancreas is the source of the bulk of digestive enzymes that act upon the contents of the small intestine. The normal function of the pancreas can be studied in the context of acute pancreatitis, an inflammatory disease with a sudden onset. In this directed case, students read about a person suffering from acute pancreatitis, including a brief description of the patient's history and symptoms, then answer a set of directed questions designed to probe their understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the disorder. The case is appropriate for any college-level course in human physiology.


A Case of Cerebrovascular Accident 

"Samuel Dexter" is 52 years old, overweight, and a heavy smoker. He wakes one morning with weakness on his right side.  When he attempts to walk to the bathroom, he stumbles and then falls. His wife, who suspects he has suffered a stroke, calls 911. Students read the short case scenario, including a brief clinical history of the patient and description of his injury, then answer a set of directed questions designed to probe the students’ knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, and pathology underlying the patient’s condition. The case has been used in both a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology and a senior-level course in general physiology.


A Case of Diabetes Insipidus 

“Amanda Richards,” a 20-year-old junior in college, is majoring in biology and hopes to be a pediatrician one day. For about a month, she has been waking up frequently at night to go to the bathroom. Most recently, she has noticed that she needs to go to the bathroom during the day more often, almost hourly. Students read about these symptoms and then answer a set of directed questions designed to teach facts and principles of physiology using reference books, textbooks, the Internet, and each other as sources of information. The case has been used in a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology as well as in senior-level course in general physiology.


A Case of Iron Deficiency Anemia 

“Dolores Welborn,” a 28-year-old attorney, is pregnant with her first child. Lately she has been tiring easily and is often short of breath. She has also had periods of light-headedness, cramping in her legs, and a sore tongue. Students read a brief clinical history and a description of signs and symptoms, then answer a set of directed questions designed to probe the underlying anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the Dolores's condition.  In the process, they learn about the human hemolymphatic system. The case has been used in a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology taught to pre-med and nursing students as well as in senior-level elective course in general physiology taken primarily by pre-med students.


A Case of Neurocardiogenic Syncope 

“Allison Jacobson” is a 19-year-old sophomore majoring in pre-med. The past few weeks she has been studying for finals. She feels tired, even though she knows she has been getting enough sleep at night. She also has frequent headaches, and several times it has felt like her heart “missed a beat.” Yesterday at lunch she fainted while waiting in line at the cafeteria. Students read a short description of the patient’s history and symptoms, then answer a set of directed questions designed to probe their understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and pathology underlying the Allison’s condition. The case has been used in both a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology and a senior-level course in general physiology.


A Case of Pharyngitis 

Seven-year-old “Jason Hornbuckle” has been complaining for the past 12 hours of pain when he swallows.  He also has a headache and has vomited twice.  His mother decides to take him to the pediatrician.  Students read a brief clinical history of the patient and a description of the relevant signs and symptoms, then answer a set of directed questions designed to probe the underlying anatomy, physiology, and pathology underlying Jason's condition. The case has been used in a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology for pre-med and nursing students.


A Case of Seasonal Affective Disorder 

“Melanie Johnson” is a 32-year-old accountant who has moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, from her hometown of Sarasota, Florida.  For the first time in her life, she has been experiencing periods of depression, lethargy, and excessive sleeping. Students read about these symptoms then answer a set of directed questions designed to teach facts and principles of anatomy and physiology using reference books, textbooks, the Internet, and each other as sources of information. The case has been used in both a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology and a senior-level course in general physiology.


A Case of Spinal Cord Injury 

“Jason Hendrix,” a 21-year-old student majoring in economics, is injured in a serious motorcycle accident while on spring break in Florida.  Students read the short case scenario, which provides a brief clinical history of the patient and a description of his injury, then answer a set of directed questions designed to probe the students’ knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, and pathology underlying the patient’s condition. The case study has been used in both a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology and a senior-level course in general physiology.


A Case of Thrombocytopenia 

“Carolyn Jones” is a 40-year-old professor of economics. The past week she has felt tried and weak. The past few days she has noticed small, red dots on her skin and gums.  Even more upsetting, she cut herself while making dinner and the wound bled for a long time. Students read a brief clinical history of the patient and a description of the relevant signs and symptoms, then answer a set of directed questions that probe the underlying anatomy, physiology, and pathology of Carolyn's condition. The case study has been used in a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology taught to pre-med and nursing students as well as a senior-level elective course in general physiology taken primarily by pre-med students.


A Case of X-linked Agammaglobulinemia 

Though a normal, full-term baby at birth, starting at about 10 months of age “Billy DeWitt” has suffered a series of infections, including sinusitis, otitis media, and pneumonia. Students read a brief clinical history of the patient and a description of the relevant signs and symptoms, then answer a set of directed questions designed to probe the underlying anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the disorder.  In the process, they learn about the human hemolymphatic system. The case has been used in a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology for pre-med and nursing students as well as in a senior-level elective course in general physiology taken primarily by pre-med students.