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Human Physiology & Preventive Medicine


Paving the Way for Preventive Medicine

Designed specifically for students interested in applying to professional healthcare schools—including medical school, dentistry school, physician’s assistant school, physical therapy school, occupational therapy school, chiropractic school, optometry school, and other allied healthcare graduate schools—Taylor’s Human Physiology & Preventive Medicine major builds a basic foundation in human anatomy, physiology, cellular biology, and chemistry and provides plenty of hands-on patient-care opportunities. You will also establish a background in human nutrition, health psychology, public health, and exercise as medicine.

Human Physiology and Preventive Medicine majors are immersed in an interdisciplinary program that will equip them with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to implement preventive medicine in their future career and be accepted into well-known graduate healthcare programs. This will give them the competitive edge to succeed in the professional healthcare school of their choice, and the clinical and professional experiences to begin exploring what a career in health care might look like for them.

Get on track for these careers

  • Medical Doctor
  • Physician Assistant
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Physical Therapist
  • Genetic Counselor
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Healthcare Worker
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Dentist
A student reading with some professors
On-Campus Healthcare Programs

  • InVitATION: a preventive medicine program that focuses on preventing and treating chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes. Students work with patients under the supervision of their professors in the Upland Diagnostic Center across the street from Taylor.
  • Cardiac Rehab: a stage-four cardiac rehab program on campus through IU Health where students can work with patients who have rehabilitated beyond hospital care, but still could benefit from rehab supervision

A Human Physiology major operating a machine while a professor points at a screen
Hospital Internships

  • Internship at Indiana University Health Ball: a partnership where our students intern with the IU Health medical team in their Cardiopulmonary, Bariatric, and Oncology departments
  • Internships at Marion General Hospital: a partnership where our students intern in emergency care, general surgery, anesthesiology, family practice, cardiology and urology.

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Minor in Preventive Medicine

If you prefer to follow a more traditional path to professional school in medicine and healthcare (i.e. biology, chemistry or psychology) or hope to use medical studies to direct your major toward a health-related career (social work, music therapy, missions), you may wish to add a minor in preventive medicine. Students who complete the Preventive Medicine minor will establish a basic understanding of traditional and lifestyle preventive medicine and gain valuable experience in a local diabetes and chronic disease prevention program.

Silas Vinson
Class of 2021
"The HPPM major was instrumental in my passion for healthcare. The multi-disciplinary approach of the major allowed me to closely examine many different facets of the health sciences. The opportunity to get hands-on clinical experience through the diabetes prevention program allowed me to immediately apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a patient-care setting. All of the professors encourage excellence in both the classroom and clinic and greatly motivated me to take my role as a future health practitioner seriously."

Advanced University Physiology Classes

Cardiorespiratory Physiology and Chronic Disease

Explore the physiology of the cardiac, respiratory, and vascular systems; the pathophysiology of the most common cardiorespiratory diseases; and the current evidence and mechanisms for disease prevention through lifestyle modification.

Neuromuscular Physiology and Chronic Disease

Examine physiology of the central and peripheral nervous system (with specific emphasis on neuromuscular control), the pathophysiology of the most common neurological and neuromuscular diseases (i.e. stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and mental illness), and the current evidence and mechanisms for disease prevention through lifestyle modification.

Pathophysiology of Immunological and Metabolic Chronic Diseases

This course specifically examines cancer, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, obesity, and frailty—as well as the major organ systems most commonly impacted by those diseases and current evidence and mechanisms for disease prevention through lifestyle modification.

Senior Capstone

Add to the theological and philosophical underpinnings of human health and medicine, and research a specific chronic disease and present an in-depth presentation of the current scientific evidence for disease prevention. This course culminates in a multi-day retreat where students give their presentations and engage discussions centered around their philosophies on human health, human flourishing, and the practice of medicine.

Health Professional Prerequisites

This major intentionally provides flexibility for Human Physiology and Preventive Medicine majors to take specific prerequisite courses required for the health professional program of their choice while also participating in clinical experiences, undergraduate research opportunities, and international experiences.

Human Physiology & Preventive Medicine Curriculum & Degree Options

Students interested in course descriptions and academic policies can check out our Undergraduate Catalog.

Liberal Arts Foundational Core

A Taylor liberal arts education will prepare you to live and work in a fast-changing world. It also goes a step further: laying a strong spiritual foundation that cultivates wisdom. You’ll become a well-versed individual, equipped with critical thinking skills, a lifelong love of learning, and an appreciation for God’s creation.

View Foundational Core Curriculum.

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A student holding a stopwatch while a woman exercises

A Need for Preventive Medical Programs

According to the Center for Disease Control, seven out of the ten leading causes of death are chronic diseases—preventable diseases developed by poor lifestyle choices—which account for 81% of hospital admissions, 91% of all prescriptions filled, and 76% of all physician visits leading to approximately 86% of all health care costs.

To combat chronic disease, Taylor’s Human Physiology & Preventive Medicine major teaches students to approach medicine through “traditional” means and lifestyle modification. With current estimates suggesting that 80% of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and 40% of cancers could be prevented by a holistic understanding of health, the preventive medicine component of this program seeks to prepare undergraduates for their future as medical practitioners after professional or graduate school.

The advanced physiology courses in this major will give you in-depth opportunities to study specific, inter-related physiological systems and how they are affected by a variety of chronic human diseases and conditions. We also will examine current treatment options and preventative approaches.

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