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Uretero What?

A Systems-Level View of a Pregnancy with Medical Complications

Co Authors:

Laura Y. Lorentzen
Department of Science & Technology Education
Kean University

Youssef Kousa
Department of Biochemstry & Molecular Biology
Michigan State University


This case study follows a woman faced with a series of difficult medical decisions. Students apply systems-level physiology as they explore a pregnancy with medical complications and discuss situations involving life-changing decisions prompted by modern medical technologies. This case could be used in an advanced biology course at the high school level, or in undergraduate courses in general biology, human anatomy and physiology, human health, human sexuality, medical ethics, sociology, or women’s studies. The case study also would be applicable to first-year medical students in a course in medical physiology as well as students in nurse practitioner, midwifery, or physician’s assistant programs.

  • Learn about gynecological care, prenatal care, and diagnostic testing in a clinical context.
  • Apply previous knowledge of anatomy and physiology in a case study using appropriate medical terminology.
  • Acquire a working knowledge of urinary tract physiology and treatment for correction of urinary tract birth defects.
  • Develop an understanding of current biomedical issues and pertinent ethical discussions relevant to all of society (e.g., HPV and other STDs, preterm babies, diabetes, cervical cancer).
Keywords: Pregnancy; prenatal care; human papillomavirus; HPV; cervical cancer; birth defects; gynecology; ultrasound; urinary tract; urology; amniocentesis
Topical Area: Ethics
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Professional (degree program), Clinical education, Continuing education
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Problem-Based Learning
Language: English
Subject Headings: Physiology   Anatomy   Biology (General)   Medicine (General)   Nursing   Sociology  
Date Posted: 04/08/08
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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