Curriculum Renewal Update: Module 3

Module 3 provides an overview of the systems of perfusion (delivery of blood to tissues) and gas transport and exchange. Throughout the module, knowledge of typical organ structure and function will lay the foundation for discussions of health and disease in these systems, while integrating core concepts of patients, physicians, societies, and systems. Afternoon sessions will focus on further developing students’ clinical skills and professional identity in preparation for Immersion I. Community engagement activities will continue in parallel. Weeks 1-5 focus primarily on the cardiovascular system, and weeks 6-8 cover the respiratory system. These systems are further subdivided into topics:


  1. Regulation and dysregulation of blood pressure – examines the physiologic mechanisms that regulate blood flow, volume, and pressure.
  2. Coronary circulation and ischemic heart disease – examines disease resulting from impaired perfusion of the heart.
  3. Heart failure – examines diseases that result from abnormalities of heart contractility or filling.
  4. Pericardial diseases
  5. Valvular heart disease – examines diseases secondary to disrupted mobility or integrity of the heart valves; infections of the heart valves and bloodstream are also included here.
  6. Vascular disease – examines diseases of the aorta, large arteries, and veins.
  7. Congenital heart disease – examines disorders resulting from abnormal embryogenesis of the heart.
  8. Arrhythmias – examines disorders of the electrical activity of the heart.


  1. Ventilation – examines the movement of air into and out of the lungs.
  2. Red blood cells & Gas exchange – examines the acquisition and transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the lung.
  3. Pathogens – examines infections of the airways and alveolar spaces.
  4. Interstitial lung disease – examines diseases that alter the compliance of the lung.
  5. Chest wall/pleural cavity – examines the impact of structures outside the lung and airways on breathing.
  6. Pulmonary vascular disease – examines the vascular bed of the lung and pressure volume relationships with the heart.

Patients, Providers, Systems, and Societies:

This Patients, Providers, Systems, and Societies content is woven into the sessions across the weeks.  Dedicated PPSS sessions will reinforce and synthesize the content with other module content.  Topics covered include:

  1. Public Health – includes novel models for healthcare delivery; treatment adherence; tobacco control and smoking cessation; infectious lung diseases; and disparities and health equity.
  2. Quality Improvement, Health Systems, and Health Policy – using Process Mapping as a quality improvement tool and to understand health care seeking; health policy in cardiovascular disease. 
  3. Environmental and community factors affecting breathing and circulation – highlighting instances such as hypertension, asthma, and occupational health where environment and setting are key contributors.
  4. Clinical Epidemiology – builds on prior modules, and adds cardiovascular cohort studies, and efficacy/effectiveness studies.
  5. Ethics – Informed consent, treatment refusal, shared decision making.

Module 3 Team:

Justin Sadhu, MD, MPHS

Jeff Atkinson, MD

Amy Bauernfiend, PhD

Kari Allen, PhD

Aimee James, PhD, MPH

Kelly Mock, EdD

Monique Stoves

We greatly appreciate the tremendous efforts put into the design, build, and implementation of Module 2 by the leaders and content experts including Audrey Coolman, MPH; Erika Crouch, MD, PhD; Brian Edelson, MD, PhD; Amanda Emke, MD; Komo Gursahani, MD, MBA; Jonathan Mullin, MD; Kaytlin Reedy-Rogier, MSW; Andy Wiegert, MBA; Tim Yau, MD; and Nichole Zehnder, MD. We also acknowledge the outstanding contributions of the curricular support team including Kelly Mock, Ed.D and Katie Nymberg.

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