Clinical Investigation motivates students to learn human physiology!

Published March 28, 2018

By Stuart Fox, Ph. D. Pierce College

Clinical Investigation

Human Physiology, 15th edition, has numerous features that motivate students to learn - rather than to simply memorize - physiological concepts. A great motivator is the frequent reminders of how specific concepts in their physiology course relate to medicine and health. The Clinical Investigations that begin each chapter immediately catch students' attention. Each Clinical Investigation presents a person with a particular group of symptoms and medical history. What are the likely explanations for the symptoms? How can they be treated? This is a medical mystery that students can solve, given the information in the chapter. Physiology is the scientific basis for most of medicine, and the Clinical Investigations motivate those students who intend to enter health careers (the majority) by explicitly showing this relationship.

Clinical Investigation

Each chapter presents a great deal of information, and so to help students solve the Investigation, boxes called Clinical Investigation Clues are provided at different locations in the chapter. Each Clues box immediately follows the information in the text that is most relevant to the medical mystery presented in the Investigation. There are always questions in the Clues box that relate to the Investigation. The Clues box and its questions prevent students from just breezing through the text information. They motivate students to stop, examine what they just read, and take the extra effort required to understand the physiological concepts presented.

Frequently, the Clinical Investigation Clues box can be located immediately after a Clinical Application box. The Clinical Application boxes show how the basic science of physiology relates to medical and health applications. These boxes are located immediately after the relevant physiological information is presented, and are independent of the Clinical Investigation Clues boxes. In those pages where Clues follows Applications, these two independent features reinforce each other. Such cases showcase how important an understanding of physiology is to health applications and to the career aspirations of the majority of students who use this textbook.