MD Education Program

Gastrointestinal and Nutrition (6 credits; 6 weeks)

Students in the Gastrointestinal and Nutrition course gain knowledge of the physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology of the gastrointestinal system to enable them to describe the major diseases of this system, including their signs and symptoms, histopathologic and clinical laboratory characteristics , and rationale for current therapeutic interventions including the application of principles of nutrition and their role in health and disease.

Course Objectives

The following course objectives align with the IU School of Medicine MD Curriculum Competencies and Institutional Learning Objectives. This alignment enables faculty and students to understand how current student learning prepares them for the next stage in training and for their ongoing practice and maintenance of certification.

Describe the function of gastrointestinal organs and tissues with emphasis on how their functions relate to their structure, and how they are regulated.

Explain the impact of nutritional intake on health and disease in adults and children recognize how health status can impact nutritional requirements.

Explain etiology of certain gastrointestinal diseases including the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying the diseases.

Recognize the major diseases of the gastrointestinal system and discuss their pathophysiology; explain how pathophysiologic mechanisms result in characteristic anatomic, histologic, imaging, and laboratory features of particular diseases.

Describe the clinical signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal and nutritional diseases and how they guide diagnosis.

Explain the indications for and mechanism of action of drugs and procedures used to treat gastrointestinal diseases.

Describe how nutritional interventions can be used to promote health and to treat disease.

Recognize psychosocial aspects of gastrointestinal and nutritional disorders and evaluate the importance of a patient’s social context in health and disease and how factors such as culture, socio-economic status, environment, religion, spirituality, education, and health literacy impact nutrition and associated health outcomes.

Apply case-based medical problem-solving using clinical and scientific resources to identify gaps in knowledge related to gastrointestinal conditions.

Recognize and demonstrate professional responsibility in preparing and participating in class activities, and in caring for patients with gastrointestinal and nutritional disorders.