Under the tutelage of experienced physicians, specialty board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology, the department's mission is to transition students from the basic sciences learned in their first year into young doctors that can understand the mechanisms and manifestations of disease in a given patient, make a prompt and accurate diagnosis, and understand the pathophysiologic alterations that are targeted for treatment. Three quarters are taught throughout the second year. General pathology is taught in the fall quarter, and specific organ systems are addressed later in the year. Teaching is primarily lecture based with comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of afflictions affecting patients. Emphasis is placed on early clinical recognition from patient history and presenting signs and symptoms, as well as the selection of the appropriate laboratory and ancillary studies needed to make a definitive diagnosis. Rationale for surgical, pharmacologic and other medical interventions is presented. Liberal use of case studies in lectures and case-based examination questions incorporating clinical vignettes prepare students for their clinical rotations and for Level 1 of their COMLEX-USA examinations.