LAMP 7187

Interpretation of Lab Data


Mary Ramey
Course Coordinator

Curriculum focus: 
Clinical level: 
MS year: 
Terms offered: 

At least one prior clinical rotation


    If course is full, there is a waitlist.  Please contact Mary Ramey, Course Coordinator, with waitlist questions.

    Catalog 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.

    Sites:  UMN: Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, D-175 Mayo Memorial Building, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

    Required session attendance:

    Typical weekly schedule/Delivery Mode:  M-F, 8:00am-12:30pm, lectures and discussion (individual study in the afternoons), no night or weekend assignments

    Direct patient care:  No

    Consent Requirement: Open to student scheduling

    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

    Midcourse Feedback method/process:


    Allow repetition of course: Repetition not allowed

    Limited to Student Type:  No

    Course equivalency:  N/A

    Related curricular experience:

    Secure Exam:

    Course evaluation:  MedHub