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PATH 381 Clinical Biochemistry

PATH 381 Clinical Biochemistry

 Fall 2023 (Blended), Winter 2024 (Online)
 Year 3 Optional Course
 9-10 hours/week
 3 units
On-Campus Course
Online Course

This upper-year health sciences course covers topics relating to the integrated role of clinical biochemists within a healthcare team.  PATH 381 covers advanced topics of biochemistry and analytical chemistry in relation to the practice of clinical biochemistry in healthcare. Students will critique how laboratory principles, biochemistry, and analytical techniques are applied to practical medical problems in the context of various diseases. Through problem-based learning approaches, students will gain experience in identifying and troubleshooting issues in laboratory testing as well as the integrated role of clinical biochemists within a healthcare team.


*Previously BMED 381 Clinical and Diagnostic Chemistry

Minimum 3rd year (level 3) standing and one of (BCHM 218/3.0; BCHM 270/3.0), and one of (HSCI 190; STAM 200/3.0; BIOL 243/3.0; GPHY 247/3.0; KNPE 251/3.0; NURS 323/3.0; POLS 385/3.0; PSYC 202/3.0; STAT 263/3.0).

After completing PATH 381, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of clinical biochemistry in healthcare by linking clinical laboratory principles to patient care.
  2. Critique how specific clinical laboratory test methodologies can be used to screen for, diagnose, and/or manage a given disease.
  3. Scrutinize and assess the clinical application of novel biomarkers in the context of relevant, current literature.
  4. Demonstrate verbal and written proficiency in clinical laboratory instrumentation and methods by navigating troubleshooting scenarios involving issues with a clinical biochemistry test.
  1. Communicator
  2. Advocate
  3. Leader
  4. Scholar
  5. Professional
  6. Collaborator

Assessment 1 – Post-Module Quiz (10%)

Following completion of modules, students will take individual online quizzes that test for integration of key concepts covered in the assigned sections. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped when calculating the total grade for this assessment.

Assessment 2 – Integrative Assignments (20%)

Students are placed in small groups. Each group is assigned a question encompassing the concepts from all modules covered up to that point. Each group member must submit their draft answer as well as give feedback to teammates on their submissions, reply to comments, and incorporate feedback into their own answer. Groups then submit final answers as a report (including the initial individual and the final group submissions). There will be two of these assignments during the term.

Assessment 3 – Problem-based learning (PBL) Clinical Lab (25%)

All students will be involved in discussions led by an Instructor/TA. To begin, all students are presented with the same case-study for discussion purposes. Then, students are divided into breakout rooms/small discussion groups to work through different scenarios and questions in small groups. Finally, all students return to the main plenary session/overall discussion group to report on the answers to the questions and other aspects of the scenario(s) generated by their group.

Assessment 4 – Presentation (15%)

In small groups, students pick a novel biomarker or clinical biochemistry technique associated with one of the pathologies covered throughout the course (the selection needs to be approved or be selected from a list). The group of students then review literature on the application of this biomarker and prepare a 15-minute presentation, to be presented to their peers and instructors. Evaluation will be based on breadth and depth of knowledge on the topic, quality of audiovisual elements, and presentation skills. Group members are expected to contribute equally to both the preparation and oral components of the presentation, to be assessed via peer evaluation forms submitted as part of the total assessment grade.

Assessment 5 – Proctored Final Exam (30%)

The individual proctored final exam will include well-designed, case-based multiple choice and short answer questions that will test each student’s overall understanding and application of the course material, rather than rote memorization.

Tutorials will be held at the end of each learning section. TAs and/or the instructor will be available for designated hours to answer questions on the major concepts covered.

Students can expect to spend approximately 9-10 hours a week (108-120 hours per term) in study/practice and online activities for PATH 381

PATH 381 course content is delivered through interactive online learning modules shared from the Course Page.

Note: All testing is from the course modules.