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From The CriticsReviewer: David L. Osborne, PhD(Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center)
Description: This book of 51 clinical cases presented in a USMLE format is designed to bridge the gap between clinical medicine and physiology. Each case uses the same format with the case presentation followed by a summary, a straightforward answer, a clinical correlation, a list of objectives, and a discussion of the underlying physiological concepts. This is followed by a list of questions and some pearls to help the students analyze and retain the information. This is an update of the first edition of 2006.
Purpose: The purpose is to present clinical cases and then ask questions that probe students' understanding of basic physiological concepts. The authors state that they "explore principles rather than emphasize rote memorization." The book is designed for students to quickly process through the cases and find pertinent answers. There is a great need to help students transfer their basic science knowledge to clinical practice, and this book is one attempt to ease that transition. The authors have done a good job in approaching this problem.
Audience: This book is written with medical students in mind. It is useful for helping M1 or M2 students build their connections between the basic sciences and clinical medicine. For M3 and M4 students and residents, this is a good book to reinforce the scientific basis of medicine as they progress through the world of clinical practice. The book is very appropriate in the world of medicine today that is changing as fast as the students learn new material. The authors have daily experience in this world as they teach in various capacities at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
Features: Each case is presented with a diagnosis at the beginning and several open-ended questions. The book is organized based on organ systems, but this cannot be ascertained from the table of contents. Readers must look this information up in an appendix that lists each case by case number or disorder. The answers are presented in a simple to complex order to allow the students either quick feedback or in-depth discussion of each case. The consistent presentation style is helpful to readers. The fact that the diagnosis is given as part of the case presentation does limit some of the clinical reasoning required of students, yet the book still achieves its purpose.
Assessment: This extremely useful book reinforces the relationship between basic science and clinical medicine for students. It will help them either review or learn basic physiology as it applies to medicine, which should strengthen their diagnostic and therapeutic skills. There are several similar books currently on the market (Problem-Based Physiology, Carroll (Elsevier, 2010), and Physiology: Cases and Problems, 3rd edition, Costanzo (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009). Given the rapid pace of change in the medical literature, this is a timely update.