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PSL 432


The goal of this course is to understand the basic molecular, cellular and tissue-level processes that underlie physiological regulation of the human body.  Emphasis in PSL 432 is on renal physiology, immunology, gastrointestinal physiology, endocrinology, and reproductive physiology.

READ the chapter to be covered before each class so you are prepared for the lecture.  Having some idea of the concepts will help you make the most of the lecture period.

REVIEW your notes after each class and before the next class.  Spending an hour out of class for each hour in class will help immeasurably.

STAY CURRENT: because each concept builds upon the one before, you need to keep up with the material.  DO NOT wait until the day before an exam to study--- you will be lost.

PUT IT INTO YOUR OWN WORDS.  Don’t just passively look at lecture notes or listen to a lecture, that won’t help you.  You need to actively work with the content and format it in a way that will enable you to learn it. Past students suggest the following techniques to master the material:

  • Re-write and/or make your own slides that explain concepts in your own words. 
  • Draw pictures or diagrams
  • Think about how a change (e.g. loss or gain of a receptor, cell, protein) would change function of a pathway or tissue function. 
  • Write an essay to describe a concept
  • Explain a concept and/or teach it to a friend (this will test if you really know it)
  • Actively work with the material.  Doing so will allow you to learn it at a much deeper level which is important because you need to be able to…

INTEGRATE CONCEPTS.  Simply memorizing the notes will not enable you to pass this class.  Really.  You need to be able to deeply understand the pathways, mechanisms and connect them to other topics/mechanism.

PRACTICE MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS.  The format of the exams/quizzes can sometimes trip students up at first.  Practice with sample multiple choice questions in advance.  Tips for this:

  • Carefully read the question.  What is it asking for?
  • Examine each foil: is it true or false?  Reason through why or why not.
  • Identify the right foil by understanding why the others are not right.

ASK QUESTIONS:  Let your instructor or TA know if you are having trouble with a concept: we can’t help if we don’t know that there is a problem.