Cardiopulmonary Teaching

In winter 2001/02, an interdisciplinary course titled “Cardiopulmonary teaching” was established at the Faculty of Medicine. Since 2004 cardiopulmonary teaching occurs in the 3rd clinical semester as the 6-week long module 3.1 titled “Diseases of the cardiovascular system and the lung”.

In close collaboration, lecturers from the fields of cardiology, pulmonology, cardiac surgery, anesthesia, pharmacology, radiology, and pediatric cardiology offer a patient-centered curriculum. This curriculum includes the systematic diagnosis and therapy of principal cardiovascular and lung diseases.

Educational objectives

Teaching activities are documented by the Faculty catalog of educational objectives. Many educational objectives of modules 3.1 to 5.3 focus on factual knowledge on various diseases.

At the same time, a large number of educational objectives ascribed to the cardio-respiratory module are concerned with practical skills including patient examination techniques and  interpretation of the electrocardiogram (ECG).

Small-group tutorials provide an opportunity to discuss diagnostic questions and therapeutic options and, thus, to improve clinical reasoning skills.

Teaching modes

Since the course conception many teaching contents have been developed which consider practice-oriented education objectives.

Through daily 2-hour main lectures and 1-hour seminars the problem of the week (e.g. coronary vessel disease and cardiac infarction, heart failure, cardiac valve problems, arrhythmias, pulmonary diseases) are described and discussed.

Small-group tutorials are facilitated by expert clinicians, and students are invited to deepen their knowledge through case discussions and examination of patients.

The cardiovascular apparatus course introduces common state-of-the-art examination methods (ergometry, echocardiography, spirometry, etc.) including practical demonstration and application. The auscultation training includes the simulator Harvey® and the core of daily clinical examination. Harvey® is a life-sized patient simulator which is able to imitate 27 different cardiovascular diseases and 60 different heart sounds and cardiac murmurs.

Bedside teaching aims at integrating factual knowledge and practical skills. Each student spends one week on a particular ward. Students are trained to take a focused history, to perform a physical examination and to discuss the clinical management of individual patients. Each group of 8 students is being closely supervised by a clinical teacher.

The curriculum is further complemented by optional training (guided self-study) at the cardiovascular training center (Harvey®, see above) and the student training center for medical practice and simulation (STÄPS = Studentisches Trainingszentrum Ärztlicher Praxis und Simulation).