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Introduction to Human Medical Physiology

By : Dr. Abdulrahman Aqra MD  MSc
* What is Physiology 
Physiology is a science that study the functions of a living creature . It studies the functions  on the following levels :
1- Chemical/ molecular level
2- Cellular level
3- Tissue level
4-Organ level
5- Systemic level
6- Organismic level
So we can describe physiology as the study of functions of living creatures from cell to system. 
As far as Physiology deals with living creatures , there is a ( physiology)  for each group of living systems such as : Plant Physiology , Animal Physiology...etc. In this course we will study only the Human Physiology, focusing on the organ level , and system levels within the human organism as a whole in a situation of a good health .
 The disturbance of the normal human physiology by disease is an independent science , which is known as ( Pathophysiology)
Physiology is related to Anatomy , which studies the structure of the Human organism . The interrelationship of structure and function is inseparable. As an integrative biological science it is also linked to biochemistry , molecular biology , pharmacology , and other medical disciplines .
* What is Human Medical Physiology
Human Medical physiology is a course of Human Physiology for students of Medicine and health sciences . So it is extended beyond the simple study of functions to some clinical applications that enable the students to understand physiology better , and to be prepared to study the disease , which is a shifting from the normal physiology of the human organism . 
The course of human medical physiology will have 8 credit hours distributed in two semesters ( Human Medical Physiology I,II).
 Concepts are organized by systems:Nervous ,Muscular , Cardiovascular, Respiratory ,  Endocrine, Reproductive , Gastrointestinal, and Renal system.
In brief words , we are going to enjoy studying the (body wisdom) which expresses the cooperation between the body systems to maintain a dynamic balance in its (internal environment).
* Why do we study human medical physiology?
We study medical physiology to gain a comprehensive knowledge about ( How our organism is functioning in normal healthy status) , because such understanding is an essential to understand Clinical Medicine in the future . Functioning means -simply- mechanisms . As far as we are talking about functioning mechanism in a live organism , so we are talking about biochemical mechanisms mostly m in addition to  bio-mechanical , bio-electrical , and others bio-mechanisms.
When we understand these mechanisms we will be ready to understand how these  mechanisms are disturbed during the pathological processes and what are the diseases mechanism that affect the human organism , causing shifting from the physiological norms , and the mechanism of body defense as well.
* How we are going to study human medical physiology:
1- Lectures : Lectures would be real ones in the class room as well as virtual one on the internet ( video lectures) . This would supply the students with a permanent reference to understand things better if the missed something in the auditory.  To exclude the disadvantages of the e-lectures  there would be always quizzes that form a part of the final evaluation of the students ( quizzes will cover a previous lecture not a recent one) .
2- Laboratory : in the lab. The students would be able to have a chance for practical deepening and widening of their theoretical knowledge in human medical physiology. ( Miss. Hiba Salah will be the instructor of the physiology lab.) 
3- Physiology Picnic : Each semester we will revise the concepts in an open auditory ( the nature) in form of a picnic for a whole day , which may be a holiday.
4. Annual Human Medical Physiology IV: The conference will be held on the summer holiday to encourage the students to  continue their positive relationship with physiology even after passing the final exams.
* Somethings that i dislike :
1- Fixing on a single reference book: There are many respectful textbooks in Human Medical Physiology such as Guyton`s , Sherwood`s , Ganong`s , ..etc. Each of them is a respectful and great reference , but i would never recommend a given textbook for my students. Read any textbook you like . 
2- Mixing religion with science : We are going to study Human Medical Physiology not to discuss the miracles of God .  
3- Absence : I hate when my students skip the lectures to prepare for exams in other topics. Please keep attending all lectures to avoid having low grade when you miss a quiz!
* I wish you a good luck and success. 


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