Course Syllabus

Human Health and Disease:

A Clinical Approach Section A2

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Semester & Location:

Summer 2022 Session 1 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Biology, Pre-Medicine / Health Science, Public Health


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

Faculty Members:

Elisa Skovgaard Jensen

Patrick Terrence Brooks

Course Assistant:

Luchen Tian

(current students please use the Canvas Inbox)

Program Contact:

Philippa Carey,

Time & Place:

Time varies, refer to Canvas calendar for lecture times

Location: N7-C21



Elisa Skovgaard Jensen

M.D. (University of Copenhagen, 2012). PhD student at the Oto-Rhino-Laryngology Department at Nordsjællands Hospital, Hillerød. DIS Clinical Instructor for Human Health & Disease. With DIS since 2017.

Patrick Brooks.png

Patrick Terrence Brooks

M.D. University of Copenhagen, 2016). BSc in Biology (University of Copenhagen, 2010). Currently doing his 3-year PhD research fellowship at the Department of Clinical Immunology, Rigshospitalet. Previous positions: 4th year of residency/specialization in Clinical Immunology at the Department of Clinical Immunology, Rigshospitalet (2021). Clinical Basic Training (KBU) at the Department of Urology, Zealand University Hospital, Roskilde (2017). Emergency Department, Zealand University Hospital, Køge (2016). Research interests: immunology, stem cells and regenerative medicine. With DIS since 2018.

Course Assistant

  Luchen Tian DIS Photo Final.JPG

Luchen Tian

12th semester medical student at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH). Student researcher at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Audiology, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet. Member of SØNHKS. Board member and Team Inspire lead at Synapse - Life Science Connect. 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.


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