Old Physiology for Young Students – A Tribute, Part 1


Recently I was lucky enough to be given a very old physiology textbook from a friend in the estate sale business. The book, Applied Physiology, Primary, by Frank Overton M.D. is copyright 1898.  It is so very interesting, that I felt that I would share it with everyone via this blog. For your information, it is pretty easy to find copies for sale on the internet.


In this first installment let me discuss the audience and goal of this textbook. In future installments I will provide some of the text and images for your enlightenment. It is a true treasure to experience reading this text as it shows me what we thought we knew that we didn’t, and more interestingly to me what we knew in the late 1800’s but have chosen to ignore for over 100 years.

Here is the preface verbatim –

“This primary text book of applied…

View original post 418 more words


Back on May 1st I wrote about professional development and today I would like to expand upon that post and talk to you little bit about the HAPS POGIL project. As some of you may recall one of the leaders of POGIL, Richard Moog, was an update speaker at the Las Vegas conference. HAPS member and newly elected Central Regional Director Murray Jensen of the University of Minnesota also presented several workshops and is facilitating a National Science Foundation grant to develop POGIL worksheets for anatomy and physiology. Once complete and approved as official POGIL worksheets they will be released to HAPS members for one year and then be archived in the APS archives.
This week me, Jon Jackson, Murray Jensen, and about 40 of Murray’s College in the Schools high school teachers have been working to develop more POGIL worksheets. We have been particularly focused on producing laboratory exercises.
There are a lot of exciting things that you can do with POGIL, including partially or completely flipping the classroom. Stay tuned for the release of the approved POGIL activities and development of more. Also if you would like to get involved you can contact myself at jlapres@hapsconnect.org or Murray Jensen at mjensen@hapsconnect.org.
As a reminder these worksheets will be free to HAPS members only. This is just another perk of membership in Human Anatomy and Physiology Society. Below is POGIL facilitator Laura Trout with her class. Laura was kind enough to come to the University of Minnesota this week to help us with POGIL.


Professional Development

Professional development is one of those buzzwords in academia that makes some people excited, and it makes others cringe. To me, the main reason for this difference in opinion is based on desire versus must do. Some people, like myself, desire to gain more knowledge and to be on the cutting edge in anatomy and physiology. People like me love professional development in all shapes and sizes. However, I am also a person that cringes at the thought of professional development. This occurs when someone (a supervisor) tells me that I HAVE TO take a certain training that a) I feel I am overqualified for, b) I don’t have time for, c) doesn’t apply to my job, or d) all of the above. This type of professional development seems to me to be a waste of my time.

I will focus here on the good side of professional development. Learning more about something that you are inspired about has never been easier. In this era of technology, it is pretty easy to find reputable sources of online material in anatomy and physiology. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of bad information out there.

There are three ways to obtain professional development online that I would like to discuss: MOOC’s, do it yourself, and actual online coursework.

MOOC is an acronym that has varying meanings depending upon whom you ask. Most say MOOC is massive open online course. The basic idea is that there are a couple platforms out there for MOOCs that offer coursework in literally dozens of areas. The pros of MOOCs is that they are generally offered by reputable universities and in a wide range of topics. The cons are that they are unofficial course (unless something is officially worked out with your employer), the courses do not count as credits, and the timing of the course may not meet your schedule.

You can just research and read for yourself. I’ve listed below 4 of my favorite free online resources.The big pro here is flexibility. The major con, of course, is that it is unofficial.

Respiratory physiology and pathophysiology – http://meded.ucsd.edu/ifp/jwest/index.html

Neuroscience – http://neuroscience.uth.tmc.edu/

Endocrinology – http://www.endotext.org/

and of course, the HAPS website – www.hapsweb.org


Lastly, one can engage in actual online coursework. For many, this is a necessary aspect of being an instructor in higher education. Sometimes an accrediting body may question one’s credentials. Other times, someone might want to add a new field to their credentialing. Most credentialing bodies ask for 18 graduate hours of work in a field in which they teach. For those of us in anatomy and physiology, sometime it gets tricky. A&P is often taught in the biology department, thus HAPS has created the HAPS-Institute, which offers graduate level biology courses. I encourage you to visit the HAPS-I page by clicking HAPS-I to learn more.

Campus Safety

A little bit after noon on January 22, 2013 my phone began to nearly erupt out of my pocket as I taught class at Lone Star College-University Park. Even though I was teaching class the ridiculous amount of vibrations coming from my left hip forced me to take a look. The text message read “Shooter at Lone Star College – North Harris – seek shelter.” LSC-North Harris is my former campus, and I had signed up for emergencies alerts. The rest of the story made national new, so I’ll spare the details. Bottom line, NOT a mass shooting, just a fight that resulted in a gun being pulled. This guy even managed to shoot himself.

This of course sparked the age old gun debate, especially since Texas legislators currently have a bill proposing guns be allowed on campuses.

Until…..around 11am on Tuesday April 9th, when my phone erupted again. This time it was a stabbing at another sister campus, Lone Star College – CyFair. The suspect was stabbing people randomly, and claimed 14 victims. THIS was a PLANNED MASS ATTACK, and it did not involve a gun.

How does this relate to us, science teachers? It is possible that a student could obtain a scalpel or other sharp instrument from our laboratories. So, keep them locked, its good protocol.

As a member of the HAPS Board, this leaves me thinking, maybe we should update our safety statements at http://www.hapsweb.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=338 to include such topics.

Just remember to be aware of your surroundings and let fight or flight do it’s job if you are in danger.

Is it over yet?

It is about this time in the spring semester that both students and faculty alike begin to ask themselves, “Is it over yet?” The answer, of course, is no it is not. For most, there are 4-5 more weeks of the spring semester. If you are on trimesters, or a quarter system, I have no idea where you are in your semester, but you are likely in the same boat as everyone else. The weather is getting nicer, grass is starting to green up and pollen is driving you crazy if you are in the south. If you are in the north, you’ve likely gotten a taste of some warm weather, but you wonder if there will be “one more winter storm”.

This is a difficult time in the year for everyone. So make it as pleasant as you can for both yourself, and for your students. Mix it up, do something out of the ordinary. Have you EVER taken a class outside? You should. Have you EVER stood up on the table screaming and shouting (like Tom Cruise on Oprah) about how fascinating the countercurrent mechanism is? You should. Have you EVER had your students present in class? You should.

You should do something different, something amazing, something that lifts everyone’s spirits about anatomy and physiology. And… you should do it TODAY.