Course Syllabus

Human Health and Disease:

A Clinical Approach Section B2

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Semester & Location:

Summer 2022 Session 2 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Study Tour:


Major Disciplines:

Biology, Pre-Medicine / Health Science, Public Health


One year of biology and one year of chemistry at the university level

Faculty Members:

 Andrea Pohly Thorn, Isabel Engel, Filip Davidovski

Course Assistant:

Jessica Juntermanns

(current students please use the Canvas Inbox)

Program Contact:

Philippa Carey,  

Time & Place:

Time varies, refer to Canvas calendar for lecture times

Location: N7-B11



Andrea Pohly Thorn

M.D. (University of Copenhagen, 2016). PhD student at the Department of Orthopedic surgery, Rigshospitalet (2021). M.D Department of Orthopedic surgery Herlev/Gentofte Hospital (2019-2021). M.D Department of Orthopedic surgery Nordsjællands Hospital (2017-2019). M.D General medicin at Vik legekontor, Vik municipality Norway (2017). Intern, Fælles Akut Afdeling, Aarhus universitet hospital – and general medicine at Ebeltoft Lægehus (2016-2017). Course Assistant with DIS (2011-2015). With DIS since 2011.


Isabel Engel

M.D. (University of Copenhagen, 2017). Currently on maternity leave. Junior resident in General Medicine, at a clinic in Rødovre. Previous experience in Emergency Medicine, with employment for 2 years. Former employment as a research assistant at the Danish Headache-center, Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet Glostrup. Responsible for the Emergency Medicine Course at CAMES, Herlev. Previous Course Assistant for Human health & Disease. With DIS since 2016.

Filip Davidovski.png

Filip Davidovski

M.D. (University of Copenhagen, 2022). PhD student at the Department of Cardiology, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital (2022-present). MPH student at Imperial College London (2023-present). Awarded Master’s Thesis of the Year, University of Copenhagen (2021). Erasmus Student at University of Vienna, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology (2020). Teaching Clinical Skills Session, Emergency Medicine, and Communication Course at DIS. Previous experience in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine with clerkships at Soochow University (China) and Dronning Ingrid Hospital Nuuk (Greenland). Student-athlete and Division 1 Soccer in USA (2016). Previous Course Assistant for Human Health & Disease. With DIS since 2017.


Course Assistant


Jessica Juntermanns

6th-semester medical student at University of Copenhagen Medical School (UCPH). Medical Assistant, Department of Oncology (team leader), Rigshospitalet and with FADL (The Association of Danish Medical Students). Volunteer at the National Association against Eating Disorders and Self-Harm (LMS) and at summer camps for children and adolescents with cancer. Teacher in dance and acrobatics at HoP Frederiksberg. Former physiotherapy student at University College Copenhagen (KP) and nursing student at Tallahassee Community College, Florida, USA. With DIS since 2021. 


Course Description

The clinical approach of the course implies studying symptoms, signs, diagnostic methods, and treatment of the most important human diseases, writing patient case reviews based upon medical records, and patient interviews, visiting various clinical and diagnostic hospital departments and performing physical examinations on phantoms or other students.

The course, however, does not provide regular medical training corresponding to that of medical students and does not include shadowing of doctors or physical examination of patients. Patient demonstrations are included in some, but not all, lectures.

Expected Learning Outcomes

The objective of the course is to introduce students to the most important human diseases, their diagnoses and treatments, and to the clinical working methods of physicians as practiced at a large, Danish University Hospital (Rigshospitalet) in Copenhagen.  Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Write a structured medical report
  2. Explain the rationale for choice of tests and treatments in clinical practice
  3. Perform basic manual skills (suture, IV insertion, catheter insertion) and give a basic explanation of the techniques
  4. Discuss knowledge of human anatomy and physiology
  5. Describe medical practice in a social, international, and scientific context


Required Readings

  • Clancy J, McVicar: Physiology and Anatomy for Nurses and Health Practitioners: A Homeostatic Approach (e-textbook under Modules)
  • Ford MJ, Hennessey, I, and Japp, A: Introduction to Clinical Examination, 8th Churchill Livingstone, London 2005: Ford.
  • O'Neill P, Dornan T, Denning DW: A Core Text with Self-Assessment. Churchill Livingstone, 3rd Edition, 2008: O'Neill.
  • Additional Readings will be posted on Canvas

Not all reading assignments will be covered in class, but all reading assignments are absolutely necessary in order to follow what is actually covered in class. The reading material has been carefully chosen and all of it is pertinent to your success in Human Health and Disease. 

Please make sure to read all the material assigned. In some cases, where noted, skimming the reading and picking out important points will be sufficient. You have an obligation to your fellow classmates and yourself to come prepared to class.  

If you have questions or need clarification about a reading or lecture material do not hesitate to speak up and/or contact the course assistant (see contact information above). In the case that a meeting is needed, please feel free to set up appointments with them via email.  You can contact them or the course assistant to set up an appointment or to ask a question.


Patient Cases

There will be two patient cases presented in this Human Health and Disease course. They can be theoretical patient cases and/or clinical patient cases, as relevant and appropriate. 

The Theoretical Cases are specialized to the concentration that the class is working on during that time (i.e., the disease will relate to that day’s lecture material). Everyone will be introduced to the Theoretical Patient Cases and each student will be required to hand in a written assignment detailing their ‘differential diagnostic’ process; this assignment will be graded.

For Clinical Cases, students will be presented with a real patient and everyone will write up their own case history about the signs, symptoms, ailments, and treatments for the specific patients that are introduced to. More details will be given on this activity as the time approaches for the first Clinical Case Review. It is mandatory to attend all classes in which clinical case reviews are presented. Missing a class would result in a 'fail' on that paper.

Test and Final

The final for this course is a cumulative 2 hour exam, consisting of both short answer and essay questions.


Participation covers the following areas:

  1. Attendance
  2. Level of preparation and ability to answer questions asked in class
  3. Involvement in class and group discussions
  4. Level of individual research and contribution to discussions



Students will be evaluated based on the study tour project, two patient cases, a final examination, and participation. 

Study Tour Project 20%
Patient Cases (2 at 20%)  40%
Final Exam 30%
Participation 10%


Policy on late papers

Late papers will be accepted, but your grade for the paper will be reduced by half a point for each day that it is late.



Your computer is allowed for class purposes. It is not allowed for other activities such as social networks, sending personal e-mails etc. If you use a computer for other purposes, it will affect your participation grade. Cell phone usage is not allowed in class. It is distracting to both your classmates and your instructors, so please keep them turned off. Otherwise it will affect your participation grade.

Academic Regulations  
Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due