that has been successful for many years. Connections between the
arts and sciences are important to attract students’ attention to
problems they might not experience themselves. As some students
indicated, socioeconomic factors should be taken into consideration when statistics are used in clinical studies.
The case study presented here uses a controversial human disease as
an example to enhance students’ learning in human body systems,
symptoms of a disease, complexity of diagnosis, and the scientific
method. It provides opportunities for students to build critical-thinking skills and interests in medical research studies. We introduced the case study to students who intended to pursue careers
in health-related fields and they found it interesting and engaging.
As shown in an earlier article (Zaitsev, 2009b), during such discussions we observed a high level of student participation and involvement, which not only increased their knowledge on the scientific
approaches but also improved their skills of interaction and communication with each other. However, in the future we would modify
the case study on the basis of feedback from students. As noted
above, at the end of the activities half of our students believed that
CFS/ME is a real disease while the others did not. Therefore, it is a
great case study for creating a debate in the classroom. The debate
should take place after the students’ presentations. Alternatively,
an essay on whether CFS/ME is a real disease could be assigned to
each student. Perhaps those modifications may improve students’
comprehension of the material.
The authors would like to express their gratitude to Gordon Stumpo
and Dr. Joseph Lieberman for their valuable advice during the development of this paper. The header images are modified from CDC and
NIH image collections.
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