University of Malta
 

Study-Unit Description
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CODE MDS4014

 
TITLE Dermatology, Venereology and Infectious Diseases

 
LEVEL 04 - Years 4, 5 in Modular UG or PG Cert Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

 
DESCRIPTION The programme assumes knowledge of anatomy, physiology, (Years 1&2) basic pathology and clinical methods (Y3) and addresses dermatology, venereology and infectious diseases.

It is essentially an integrated unit that has inputs from the Departments of Pathology and Clinical Pharmacology.

The study-unit is primarily designed to address medical problems, such as are encountered commonly in inpatient and outpatient clinical practice, as well as in general practice. It is also designed to address less common diseases because of their:
1. crucial public health importance, e.g. HIV disease,
2. rapid lethality, e.g. viral haemorrhagic fevers,
3. chronicity and indolence, e.g. organic and inorganic biofilm disorders.
4. importance as medical educational examples of clinical, pathological and epidemiological overlap, or as specific disease-process models.

Structure of the programme: A. teaching methods, B. assessment.

A. Teaching methods.

1. Classroom-based integrated teaching sessions aimed at imparting basic principles of dermatology, venereology and infectious diseases Most of the sessions are case-based and multidisciplinary. Lectures with regard to infectious diseases are of necessity based on theory and cold-case presentation e.g. malaria and brucellosis.

2. Tutorials: interactive small group teaching sessions aimed to focus on the outpatient practice of dermatology and venereology: the vast majority of such tutorials involve communication and examination of actual patients. Tutorials in infectious diseases are of necessity opportunistic and depend on clinical material currently available.

3. Clinical attachments: specific consultant physicians.

4. Log-book. The Department of Medicine has a proforma electronic logbook that spans the last three years of the course of studies. The logbook, driven by learning objectives and expected competences, gives precise details for the acquisition of clinical skills.

B. Assessment
General aim: test both presence of knowledge and its practical application.

1. One three-hour paper divided into two sections: 1: twenty multiple-choice questions (50% weighting) and, 2: five case-based short-answer questions.
2. Objectives of the written examination are twofold: to assess the ability to think critically about diagnosis and management and to ensure that the candidate has a satisfactory base of factual knowledge.
3. Examiners determine and document the correct answers to both sections at the time that the papers are set. The multiple-choice paper shall be marked on the ‘negative-marking’ principle, awarding one mark for every correct answer and deducting one mark for every incorrect answer. The weighting of each section is subdivided proportionately.

Study-unit Aims

1. To introduce dermatology and venereology as clinical specialties to students who already have a basic knowledge of internal medicine and also a year’s clinical practice.
2. To present infectious disease medicine as a specialty and to format a teaching programme on a spiral curriculum principle. Certain infectious disease would have already been addressed at a different level earlier, however this part of the teaching programme would address more intricate issues such as immunocompetence, iatrogenic factors, and complex management.
3. To present an integrated approach involving the clinical disciplines, pathology and clinical pharmacology as a mirror of actual day-to-day hospital practice, clinical outpatient service and family practice.
4. To provide guidance for the acquisition of knowledge of the theory of dermatology, sexually transmitted diseases and infectious disease medicine generally.
5. To provide details on the mode of action and clinical use of various classes of drugs used in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.
6. Use formal lectures and tutorials to enhance case based learning and provide an understanding of drug safety in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
1. apply the knowledge gained through the study of histology, microbiology and general pathology to dermatology, sexually transmitted diseases and communicable diseases generally.
2. demonstrate an understanding of a holistic approach to the practice of dermatology, sexually transmitted diseases and communicable diseases, both as integral part of clinical medicine, and also as disorders that frequently involving different body systems concurrently or sequentially.
3. critically appraise published medical literature.
4. use information technology including hospital based electronic sources such as iSoft, PACS and census databases.

CPH:

5. show an understanding of basic principles involved in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics specific classes of drugs specifically antimicrobial drugs and drugs used in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.
6. describe the various scientific principles underlying the actions and uses of these specific classes of drugs in the clinical setting in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.
7. recognise the importance of understanding the mode of action and clinical use of these classes of drugs in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.
8. list the clinical principles involved in the selection of these classes of drugs to the individual patient in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.
9. predict the effects of these classes of drugs in specific patients in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.
10. outline the concept of individualised drug therapy in use of these classes of drugs in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
1. take a structured history focusing on dermatological/ venereological/communicable disease/public health features, as may be the case.
2. carry out an examination of the skin, nails and hair as part of a general physical examination.
3. carry out an appropriate examination relating to sexually transmitted diseases as part of a general medical examination.
4. carry out an appropriate physical examination related to a presumed specific communicable disease.
5. take the necessary steps with regard to hygiene especially in relation to spread of disease to self, colleagues and the community at large.
6. request and interpret appropriate tests.
7. match appropriate drugs to a specific clinical context.
8. assess psychological and social factors and the impact of illness.
9. devise and discuss the rationale and practicalities of a basic management plan, including appropriate referral for ancillary services.
10. discuss the theoretical aspects of diagnosis, possible complications and management options.

CPH:

11. show an understanding of the knowledge of the mode of action of drugs to specific clinical scenarios in the use of specific classes of drugs specifically antimicrobial drugs and drugs used in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.
12. show an understanding of the basic pharmacological principles in prescribing decisions for these classes of drugs in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.
13. predict inter-patient variability with respect to drug response in these classes of drugs in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.
14. explain the selection of differing drug therapies in these drug classes for the individual patient in relation to Dermatological, Venereological & Infectious Diseases.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Textbooks as suggested for the whole three-year teaching programme in medicine. No specific books on dermatology, venereology or communicable diseases are suggested:

1. Clinical Medicine. Kumar P & Clark M, Saunders, 8th Edition, 2012.
Chap. 24: Dermatology Paige DG ed.
Chap. 4: Infectious diseases, tropical medicine and sexually-transmitted infection. RG Finch et al. eds.

2. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine. Longmore M, Wilkinson I, Davidson E, Foulkes A. OUP. 8th Edition, 2010.
Given rapid changes in knowledge databases the following resources are suggested: http://emedicine.medscape.com/ & http://www.medicalstudent.com/

Given the visual nature of assessment and management of dermatological conditions, the following resources are suggested:
Atlas of Dermatology , Loyola University Chicago.
http://www.meddean.luc.edu/lumen/MedEd/medicine/dermatology/melton/atlas.htm

Recommended Clinical Pharmacology text books:

1. Humphrey P. Rang HP, Dale MM, Ritter JM, Flower R. Rang & Dale's Pharmacology. Churchill Livingstone. 6th Ed.
2. Grahame-Smith D, Aronson J. Oxford Textbook of Clinical Pharmacology and Drug Therapy. Oxford University Press. 3rd Ed.
3. Bennett PN, Brown MJ. Clinical Pharmacology. Churchill Livingstone. 10th Ed.
4. British National Formulary. Pharmaceutical Press.

Reference/Additional:

1. Brunton L, Lazo J, Parker K. Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. McGraw-Hill Medical. 11th Ed.
2. Waller DG, Renwick AG, Hillier K. Medical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Saunders. 3rd Ed.

Lecture notes:

1. Reid JL, Rubin PC, Walters MW. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Lecture Notes). Blackwell. 7th Ed.
2. Neal MJ. Medical Pharmacology at a Glance. Wiley-Blackwell. 6th Ed.

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Placement

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
MCQ & Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%

 
LECTURER/S Sue Aquilina
Michael Boffa
Eileen Clark
Charles Mallia Azzopardi
Valeska Padovese
Tonio Piscopo
Lawrence Scerri
Dino Vella Briffa

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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