The discipline of pathophysiology is also known as physiopathology. It is the amalgamation of two distinct disciplines of medicine namely physiology and pathology. It is the branch of medical science that deals with the study of abnormal physiological processes taking place in a human body. These abnormal physiological processes could be a result of an injury, an underlying disease or the side effects of old age.
Scholars pursuing this particular branch of medicine should always make sure that they are properly categorizing their Pathophysiology (USMLE) Notes. The reason is simple, to begin with. Since this is comparatively a new area of study, scholars can share their notes in online forums so that others can also learn and analyze new information.
A deeper insight into the pathophysiology
To make it all the more clear, let’s break down the two distinct discipline now, shall we!? Pathology is the branch of medical science that helps a medical professional to make a diagnosis after observing the medical condition of the patient diagnosed with a disease. Physiology, to be exact, is a branch of biology that best describes the intricate processes going inside a living body.
In simple terms, pathophysiology can be described as the branch of medical science that explains the how and the why of a particular disease. It also sheds a bright light on the possible symptoms of a particular disease, along with the history of the ailment as well.
As per experts in pathophysiology, a disease after it has been contracted by a living organism can be subdivided into three distinct phases. They are as follows:
The initial phase
It consists of the disease slowly taking over the body of the patient or the organism without showing any visible or adverse symptoms. Most of the time a disease keeps one growing inside the body of the patient without the same even noticing anything.
The clinical phase
It consists of the overall adverse symptoms a patient or an organism might be coming down with when the disease takes hold. This is the time where the patient needs to seek proper medical attention to get the right treatment at the right time. If proper steps are not taken, the disease can either become chronic or terminal.
The resolution phase
It has three distinct but possible outcomes for the patient. Here the disease can turn terminal or can subside from the patient’s body altogether. In order to keep the patient from dying, it is of utmost importance that doctors are diagnosing the symptoms of the disease early on.
Pathophysiology made significant contributions by helping doctors understand the inner workings of neurodegenerative Parkinson’s disease. Researchers have understood using the information they gathered using pathophysiological techniques that PD is a condition that arises when dopaminergic neurons die which happens when certain biological activities in the brain change unnaturally.
Pathophysiology also contributed a lot when it came to a better understanding of the reasons that cause cardiovascular diseases. Pathophysiology is instrumental in bringing critical information related to heart failure to light. Medical professionals now know that weakening of heart tissues is a result of several underlying reasons such as overloading of the heart leading to irreversible damage. Doctors now have proof that cardiovascular diseases arise from hypertension, myocardial infarction, and amyloidosis.
Although the discipline of pathophysiology is comparatively new, there is no doubt that it has sparked a lot of curiosity in the minds of medical professionals, scientists, and scholars. People pursuing this particular branch of medical science always make sure that information about new findings is put out without delay. Properly categorized and documented pathophysiology notes will act as a cheat sheet for students who might be having a hard time processing all the new and critical information. It is the only way one can make sure that new ways of tackling exams are made available quickly.
Igor A. Savchuk is a 3rd Year Medical Student of Allopathic Medicine and Dental Healthcare Manager at NuSmile Dental FL and All Dental Implant, Tampa FL. If you are doing USMLE preparation, then review the cheat sheet here.