Abstract: FR-OR007

Project Nephron: Teaching Medical Students Physiology and Histology

Session Information

Category: Nephrology Education

  • 1301 Educational Research

Author

  • Vaynberg, Lena, FAU Charles E Schmidt College of Medicine, Highland Beach, FL, Florida, United States
Background

The objective of PBL in the FAU COM curriculum is to foster self-directed learning, communication skills, and teamwork among the students as well as linking these skills to basic sciences and patient problems. Students have a difficult time with the physiology of the nephron with regard to channels, transporters, pumps and diuretics. Since 2014, at the start of the renal course, each of eight case inquiry groups received a poster of a nephron with the objective of understanding he functions of the cells in different portions of the nephron.

Methods

Each group of students received a poster of a nephron with the cells of different parts of the glomerulus and tubule drawn in. The pathways for anion and cation transfer were left blank. They were directed to search through the 8th edition of Vander’s Renal Physiology and fill in the functions of the different cells. They did so and following the final session, they were given a nephron with the labeled pathways (Fig. 1)

Results

Following the end of the renal course, the students were surveyed as to whether or not the poster was useful to them in learning the physiology and histology of the nephron. Sixty three of the 65 students responded to the survey. The questions were phrased for a yes or no response as well as a degree of helpfulness that ranged from 1 (not helpful) to 5 (extremely helpful). There was also a section for comments. To the question “did the nephron help you learn the histology of the nephron”? The students gave it an average helpfulness of 4. To the question “did the nephron help you learn the physiology of the nephron”? The students gave it an average helpfulness of 3.5. To the question “did you continue to use nephron in subsequent cases”? The students gave it an average helpfulness of 4.1. As for the comments, the students found it a useful learning tool which they reviewed in subsequent IQ cases.

Conclusion

The students found the poster helpful in understanding renal (nephron) physiology and histology. Once the poster was complete, it was helpful in understanding the pathophysiologic and the pathologic anatomy of the nephron. Coming before the lectures and the IQ cases, it gave them a frame of reference for understanding the function of the nephron and the mechanisms of action of the diuretics.