How Physicians Diagnose and Treat Common Diseases
If you have set your sights on a career in medicine, this course is the place to start. Infectious diseases have been part of the human race since the beginning of time and continue to play a major role in modern day medicine. This course focuses on common biological causes, such as viral, bacterial and parasitic pathogens. You’ll learn how diseases jump between hosts, understand how influenza can metastasize into a pandemic and delve into bacteria, staph infection and the battle against antibiotic resistance. Understand how physicians link symptoms to a diagnosis and devise a treatment plan. Finally, you’ll see how doctors are using microbiology, biotechnology and gene therapy to change the landscape of medicine.
Multi-length courses available throughout the year
For students ages 13 and up
How Physicians Diagnose Diseases and Design Treatment Plans
Understand Viruses, Bacteria and Parasites and Their Impacts on the Body
Learn the main pathogenic microorganisms that can spread among people. Understand the differences, how they infect the body, and how physicians match their patients with treatment options.
Understanding the Influenza Virus
Study the influenza virus (flu), and learn the infection pathways to the respiratory system. Review medical treatments that can help reduce its spread, and its public and global health implications.
How Staph Infections Attack the Body
Study Staphylococcus aureus and how it infects the body. See how physicians diagnose and treat it. Consider antibiotic resistance and the efforts public health agencies make to stop transmission.
Learn about the Parasite that Causes Malaria
Study the biology of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite pathogen that causes malaria. Identify the connection between sickle cell and malaria in areas where the disease is endemic.
Explore the Growing Field of Microbiology
Consider the expanding role of microbiology in medicine and biotechnology. Examine the biotechnological advances changing microbiology. Learn how certain microbial factors boost intervention through gene therapies.
Course Conclusion and Final Project
For your Final Project, create a patient case file using a pathogen from the course. Explain your case from diagnosis to treatment, and implications for public health.
How You Will Benefit
- Understand the biological features of pathogenic microorganisms: bacterial, viral and parasitic.
- Relate each type of pathogen to specific diseases and be able to discuss why they affect the body the way they do.
- Be able to link symptoms to specific diseases and available treatments.
- Explain the role of public health organizations in disease outbreak response: both interventions and epidemiological monitoring.
- Understand the importance of global health initiatives in reducing the spread of diseases.
- Communicate the future of microbiology, infectious disease treatment and biotechnology in the field of medicine.
- Complete a Final Project to demonstrate what you’re learned.
- Earn a Certificate of Completion from William & Mary.
Three Learning Advantages Designed for You
This online course culminates in a Final Project that allows you to demonstrate what you’ve learned throughout the course, which you can add to your portfolio.
For this project, you will:
- Create a patient case file using a pathogen covered in the course.
- Through visual storytelling or video presentation, provide details and explain the patient case from diagnosis to treatment.
- Include any potential public or global health concerns connected to this disease.
You’ll receive guidance from a mentor who can support you and deepen your learning experience. You can expect:
- Encouragement and direction on all assignments.
- Inspiration, motivation and confidence to help you excel in your studies.
- Brainstorming and ideation to help you prepare for your Final Project.
- 100% online learning that works with your schedule.
- Flexible format: you’ll learn through video lectures. Tune in anytime that works for you.
- 20-30 hours of total instruction and course work, including engaging multimedia, simulations and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support from mentors.
Apply Now for the Next Available Course
All course options have the same educational content, learning materials and number of assignments. We are offering a condensed version of the course in order to accommodate students’ individual schedules.
Hear from William & Mary
Course Designed by William & Mary Faculty
Ashleigh Everhardt Queen, Ed.D., Senior Lecturer of Kinesiology, Allied Health Professions Advisor
Professor Ashleigh Everhardt Queen teaches courses that focus on human physiology. She also advises students who seek to enter Nursing or Physician Assistant School post-graduate programs at William & Mary. Ashleigh holds Bachelors of Science and Master of Science degrees in Biology. She earned her Doctorate of Education Administration from William & Mary’s School of Education. Her doctoral research focused on STEM transfer student perceptions of major academic advising.
Meet Your Mentors
On a pre-medical track at William & Mary studying Kinesiology and Public Health.
B.S. in Kinesiology and Sociology from William & Mary.
How to Apply
It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are needed. Our application requires basic contact information for you and your parent or guardian. Then, tell us why you wish to take this course. Include your personal story through writing, video, photos — or any medium you prefer.
Note: Please submit all application materials in English.
Begin the guided process. It should take only a few minutes of your time to answer the questions.
Want to Know More?
Sign up for more information and we’ll be in touch.
Our application process is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you have to turn around a project? When do you find out if you’re admitted? Find answers to your questions here.
We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential and an inability to pay full tuition. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:
- Haven’t applied to the program, complete your application now. The scholarship application is included.
- Applied to the program and didn’t fill out a scholarship request, resume your application and click “Apply for Scholarship”.
- Are unsure about whether or not you applied for a scholarship, reach out to us at email@example.com for assistance.