LAMP 7187: Interpretation of Lab Data

Course Availability:   2017-2018   2018-2019

General Information

Course Director:  Dr. Anthony Killeen

Course Coordinator:  Mary Ramey, (612) 625-5421,


MS Year:  MS3 or MS4

Periods offered:  F4

Total credits (weeks):  4

Consent requirement:  No

Patient care:  No

Clinical site(s):  FU: D-175 Mayo Memorial Building, Fairview University Medical Center, Harvard Street at East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Required session attendance:  

Typical weekly schedule:  M-F, 8:30am-12:30pm, lectures and discussion (individual study in the afternoons), no night or weekend assignments


Required or Elective:  Elective

Limited to student type:  No

Prerequisites:  at least one prior rotation

Course equivalency:  None

Open to visiting students:  Yes


Discipline(s):  Lab Medicine & Pathology

Description:  Studies show that clinical laboratory testing is the basis for making a diagnosis in the majority of patients. But what is the most effective way to use the laboratory? Which tests offer the most information? What do laboratory test results mean? What are the limitations of laboratory testing?
      This course is designed for 3rd and 4th year medical students who are faced with the challenge of bringing the extensive diagnostic capabilities of the clinical laboratory to bear on specific clinical problems. With a strongly case-oriented, clinical approach, we will review the pathophysiology of common diseases as it relates to interpretation of laboratory testing, indicate the correct ordering strategies for laboratory tests, and discuss the interpretation of laboratory results. Areas that we will focus on include cardiac, renal, hepatic and endocrine testing; therapeutic drug monitoring; clinical hematology including coagulation; infectious diseases; transfusion medicine; and molecular and cytogenetics.
      This course is highly recommended for students who intend to pursue careers in primary care who will be ordering laboratory tests as a routine part of their practice. Those who plan a career in specialties such as surgery, anesthesiology and psychiatry will also find this course very useful. Previous students have reported that this course is an excellent and broad review in preparation for the USMLE exams.

Course objectives:  By the end of this rotation, students will be able to:

  • correctly choose laboratory tests (minimal number of tests required for diagnosis);
  • interpret test results;
  • identify the pitfalls in interpreting certain test results;
  • describe of cost factors in ordering test profiles; and
  • recognize the steps and time to produce a laboratory result.


Graded components:

  • Examination utilizing multiple choice and matching questions

Grading scale:  P/N


An evaluation of the elective by the student will be set up in E*Value.


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