Course Description

A nine week block covering reproduction, sexuality, pituitary function (prolactin and growth hormone), the thyroid axis, adrenocortical (glucocorticoid) endocrinology, behavioral health and the biological basis of the major psychiatric disorders. In addition, normal physiological, selected pathophysiological and pharmacological aspects pertinent to the unique stages of the human life span including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence and aging are covered.

The following list highlights the dominant theme(s) of each week:

  1. Female reproduction.
  2. Special topics in reproduction.
  3. Male reproduction and thyroid endocrinology.
  4. Adrenocortical endocrinology and sexuality.
  5. Adolescence and pregnancy.
  6. Lactation and infancy/childhood.
  7. Infancy/childhood.
  8. Behavioral health/disorders and aging.
  9. Aging and end-of-life.

Learning Objectives

Educational program objectives are a subset of more broadly defined physician competencies, which represent general domains of performance for which the profession and the public hold physicians accountable.

Upon completing the Reproduction, Endocrine & Behavior Through the Lifespan (REBLS) Block, students should be able to:

  • Describe the key events in the embryology and development of the female and male reproductive organs.
  • Describe the early embryological events in gamete development, fertilization and implantation.
  • Understand how alterations in embryologic development can lead to developmental disorders identified in the fetus or infant and describe the etiology of these disorders and syndromes based on genetic, environmental and biochemical processes.
  • Understand the normal physiology of the female and male reproductive systems and articulate clinical presentations, formulate differential diagnoses and describe the pathophysiology for common female and male reproductive disorders.
  • Describe the approach to testing and treatment for patients who desire fertility and are experiencing subfertility and for those who desire contraception.
  • Understand the normal physiology of the prolactin, growth hormone, thyroid and adrenocortical endocrine axes. Articulate clinical presentations, formulate differential diagnoses, and describe the pathophysiology for common disorders of these systems.
  • Describe the mechanism of action and potential side effects of the medications that are used to treat disorders of the following endocrine systems: male and female reproduction; growth hormone; thyroid; adrenal glucocorticoid; and prolactin.
  • Explain the physiological basis of sexual activity and discuss the factors that contribute to gender identity and sexual preferences.
  • Understand the biological basis of common behavioral disorders and explain the mechanism of action and possible side effects of the pharmacological agents used to treat these conditions.
  • Describe the unique features of the physiology of normal infants, children, adolescents and aging. In addition, understand the physiological alterations that occur during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Articulate clinical presentations, formulate differential diagnoses and describe the pathophysiology for common disorders of different stages of the life cycle including: pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and aging.
  • Compare and contrast pharmacological management of diseases in stages such as pregnancy and throughout the life span from infancy to end-of-life.