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Interactive Physiology Grand Rounds: Introduction to the Series

Richard M. Schwartzstein, MD, FCCP*; Michael J. Parker, MD
Author and Funding Information

Drs. Schwartzstein and Parker are affiliated with the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Correspondence to: Richard M. Schwartzstein, MD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Associate Chief, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215; e-mail: rschwart@bidmc.harvard.edu

Editor's note: In this editorial and series, interactive diagrams are an important part of each article and are referred to throughout. You can access the diagrams noted in this editorial online at www.chestjournal.org/content/135/1/6.full. and the diagrams noted in the article on page 201 at www.chestjournal.org/content/135/1/201.full. Included with these diagrams are “Show Me” videos, animated narrations that walk you through the main points of each diagram. The first time you access the online material, you may be asked to update your Web browser's Flash Player plugin; this will enable you to view the diagrams as intended. If you are not automatically prompted to update the plugin and you have any problems using the diagrams, you can download the latest version of the Flash Player by visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/getflash.

The authors have reported to the ACCP that no significant conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.shtml).


Editor's note: In this editorial and series, interactive diagrams are an important part of each article and are referred to throughout. You can access the diagrams noted in this editorial online at www.chestjournal.org/content/135/1/6.full. and the diagrams noted in the article on page 201 at www.chestjournal.org/content/135/1/201.full. Included with these diagrams are “Show Me” videos, animated narrations that walk you through the main points of each diagram. The first time you access the online material, you may be asked to update your Web browser's Flash Player plugin; this will enable you to view the diagrams as intended. If you are not automatically prompted to update the plugin and you have any problems using the diagrams, you can download the latest version of the Flash Player by visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/getflash.

Editor's note: In this editorial and series, interactive diagrams are an important part of each article and are referred to throughout. You can access the diagrams noted in this editorial online at www.chestjournal.org/content/135/1/6.full. and the diagrams noted in the article on page 201 at www.chestjournal.org/content/135/1/201.full. Included with these diagrams are “Show Me” videos, animated narrations that walk you through the main points of each diagram. The first time you access the online material, you may be asked to update your Web browser's Flash Player plugin; this will enable you to view the diagrams as intended. If you are not automatically prompted to update the plugin and you have any problems using the diagrams, you can download the latest version of the Flash Player by visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/getflash.

The authors have reported to the ACCP that no significant conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

The authors have reported to the ACCP that no significant conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.shtml).

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.shtml).


Chest. 2009;135(1):6-8. doi:10.1378/chest.08-2576
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Published online

Extract

Physiology is dead. Or at least that is what one might think as many medical schools disbanded their physiology departments in the past few years or absorbed them into departments of cell biology. Systems biology is the new integrative discipline, purporting to study the entire organism, but its focus is more on the genes, proteins, and biochemical reactions that sustain life than on the interaction of organs and organ systems. At the core of clinical care, however, the interpretation of symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain, the application of findings on physical examination to disease states, and so much of what we do daily at the patient bedside are intimately connected to our knowledge of physiology.

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