McMaster University

McMaster University

Medical Foundations (MF4)

Introduction to Medical Foundations 4

MF4 comprises three important fields of medical science and physiology: host defenses, neoplasia, and genetics.

Week Concepts
  • Immunology and the microbes
  • The host and normal flora
  • Infections through close casual contacts
  • Infections through intimate contacts
  • Infections of populations
  • Introduction to neoplasia
  • Cancer as a disease of dysregulated cellular processes
  • Causes of cancer
  • Cancer diagnosis and prognosis
  • Completion of Objectives and Evaluation

This Medical Foundation begins with an introduction to the ways the human body deals with dangerous agents that might threaten its survival.

The first group of dangerous agents cause infections whose source is ultimately the external environment, although many establish themselves as part of the normal flora.  The body is constructed to repel the entry and attack, and to limit the damage caused by the infectious agents.  The defense mechanisms are very complex and can serious disruption of the human host.

The second group of agents are cancer cells of the body.  These are human cells which have been disrupted, often by changes in the genetics of the individual cell, leading to uncontrolled growth and damage to the host.  The basic changes in the genetic structure which result in neoplasia, the concepts behind the damage caused, and the potential interventions make up the remainder of the Foundation.

Components of MF4


Tutorials are the central forum for learning throughout the curriculum. Your tutor will act predominantly as a facilitator. Since tutors come from a variety of backgrounds and clinical experiences, they will be provided with a Tutor Guide to allow them to help you focus your problem-solving energies. You should not, however, rely on the tutor to steer you. It is expected that you and your colleagues will share responsibility for knowledge acquisition.


Lectures are scheduled primarily on Monday and Friday mornings.   Lectures are an important component of MF4, designed to supplement your tutorial learning.  Each lecture is either an introduction to the concepts you are about to cover in your tutorial problems or a means of summarizing the concepts you have just completed.   There are several genetics lectures and genetics concepts figure prominently in many of the neoplasia problems. The MF4 planning group considers the material presented in lecture format to be core content for MF4.  Attendance is highly recommended.

For more information contact:

Ms. Jane Bennett

Curriculum Coordinator

Phone: 905-525-9140, Ext. 22981



MD Program

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Level Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0