Physiology is the branch of the life sciences concerned with the function of living systems. Health is customarily defined in physiologic terms: disease is perceived as a deviation from the normal physiologic states of the body. Disease states and the associated signs and symptoms are understood through a refined appreciation of the diverse regulatory processes that maintain the normal, functional status of the human body.
The Physiology Department offers courses that present the physiological principles and regulatory processes that underlie the normal function of the human body. These core principles provide a foundation upon which to develop an understanding of the physiologic mechanisms engaged in response to homeostatic imbalance and of pathophysiologic alterations that occur in disease. In addition to conventional didactic instruction, osteopathic medical students participate in small group clinical case discussions that are used to promote critical thinking, problem solving and application of physiologic concepts and principles to clinically relevant problems. Medical students interested in research are encouraged to participate in ongoing research projects as a part of CCOM's Kenneth A. Suarez Research Fellowship Program, research electives and through work-study opportunities. Current research interests of the faculty include a variety of areas associated with intracellular signaling; cardiorespiratory reflexes; endocrine, intestinal stem cell, and exercise physiology; neuromuscular disorders; and mechanisms underlying osteopathic manipulative medicine. Additional teaching electives introduce medical students to the basic techniques utilized in facilitating small groups in an academic setting.