Playing Doctor: Introduction

Modern medicine has transformed the way we live, and advancements in chemistry have been a big part of that. Over the past two centuries, the human life expectancy has more than doubled.


And the advances are not over. Today scientists are tackling other medical problems, like how to cure cancer, how to test for and prevent genetic disorders, and how to prolong the lives of patients with AIDS. Today, 7 out of every 10 Americans take a prescription drug daily and, on average, we spend $8,200 per year on medical bills.

Our Unit 2 Capstone Project will help students explore the field of medicinal chemistry in a basic yet interesting way. This week, students will divide into teams of two and play the roles of doctors. Patients will be admitted to their small hospitals with various symptoms and they will have to prescribe elements and compounds to cure them.


Of course, some of the patients will be cured and others won’t. Such is the life of a doctor. On Thursday and Friday, students will be reflecting on the activity. They will write a Medical Report that details the experiences of their hospital, answering questions like “What went wrong will Mr. Allen’s prescription?” and “Why does chlorine bond with and kill germs?” The report will be due on Monday.

October 26 – Playing Doctor – Notes (pg217)

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