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Traditional medical curricula have considered preclinical and clinical undergraduate education as pedagogically distinct. Historically, instruction in the anatomical sciences followed this model. However, changes in licensure examinations and accreditation standards have necessitated the adoption of different pedagogies for human anatomy courses at many institutions. In many contemporary courses, students apply their knowledge of anatomy to clinical problems at the earliest stages of their training.

Anatomy: A Clinical Case Approach is written to promote the integration of basic anatomy with clinical findings in the context of specific patient conditions. Chapter 1 presents an overview of the nervous system. Chapters 2–10 use the following format to present clinical cases relevant to each body region:

  • Patient Presentation. This section outlines the presenting complaint(s) as might be described by a patient.

  • Relevant Clinical Findings. A standard sequence for clinical evaluation is presented: History, Physical Examination, Laboratory Tests, Imaging Studies, and Procedures. It is understood that vital signs are collected and assessed for every patient, but only those that have significance for the particular case are noted. Reference values for laboratory tests are derived primarily from Harrison’s Online (

  • Clinical Problems to Consider. The relevant clinical findings are used to generate a list of diseases or conditions that correlate with the anatomical region involved in the case. The list is not intended for use in making a differential diagnosis.

  • Relevant Anatomy. The essential anatomy is reviewed for each disease or condition presented in the list of Clinical Problems to Consider. This section assumes students have knowledge of basic anatomical information and concepts.

  • Clinical Reasoning. The Clinical Problems for each case are defined and Signs and Symptoms, and Predisposing Factors outlined.

  • Diagnosis. A likely diagnosis is presented and the basis for the signs and symptoms associated with each Clinical Problem is discussed.

  • Review Questions. USMLE-type (clinical-vignette) questions that emphasize important aspects of regional anatomy are presented at the end of each chapter. Explanations for the correct answers are given in an appendix.

Anatomical terminology established by the Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology (Terminologica Anatomica, 1998) is used throughout. Anatomy: A Clinical Case Approach assumes that students acquire anatomical terminology during a basic anatomy course. Clinical terms, including eponyms, familiarize students with terminology used commonly in medical practice.

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