Original Publication
Open Access

Let the Sunshine In - Omera Jatelo's Medical Odyssey

Published: July 2, 2012 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9188

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor's Guide Omera Jatelo's Medical Odyssey.pdf
  • Omera Jatelo's Medical Odyssey.pdf

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Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


This is a problem-based learning (PBL) case on vitamin D deficiency that is to be used as part of the physiology education of first-year medical students. However, the case can be easily adapted for the education of other health professionals. With minor alterations, it can also be used with less or more advanced medical learners. The case describes a previously healthy young man, with a normal BMI, a healthy dietary lifestyle, and in fit condition, who experiences chest pain and is treated for heart problems until worsening and additional symptoms lead to the discovery of vitamin D deficiency. He then reaches an asymptomatic status after a few months of taking vitamin D and calcium supplements. The learner will review basic cardiovascular and respiratory physiology topics as well as traditional textbook knowledge on vitamin D and calcium. The leaner will research and understand new clinically relevant vitamin D-related facts that basic science medical textbooks do not yet contain. Lastly, the student will review factual knowledge in the context of medical competencies.

This PBL case is exemplary in that it motivates students to learn basic knowledge in cardiovascular and endocrine physiology, while it makes them at the same time recognize the skill of clinical problem solving and the need of seeing a patient as a whole person. This PBL case is very flexible. While it is written for MS1 in the form of three sessions, it can easily be changed so that it can be used with less or more advanced learners, within a shorter or longer timeframe.

Educational Objectives

By the end of the module, the learners will be able to:

  1. Understand the anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology that are part of this case.
  2. Understand traditional physiology textbook knowledge on vitamin D and calcium homeostasis, as well as expanded knowledge on the nonmineral homeostatic effects of vitamin D.
  3. Understand the diagnostic tests that have been used to help solve the case.
  4. Explain the rationales for pharmacological treatments used in this case.
  5. Understand how the application of the medical competencies such as social and community context, effective communication, and self-awareness are necessary for efficient problem-solving.

Author Information

  • Gabi Waite, PhD: Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Henry Owegi: Indiana State University
  • Brian Kennedy, PhD: Indiana University School of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


Waite G, Owegi H, Kennedy B. Let the sunshine in - Omera Jatelo's medical odyssey. MedEdPORTAL. 2012;8:9188. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9188