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A good doctor must be able to solve problems by performing a careful history and physical examination. This skill is learned and mastered at the bedside. If you understand the normal and abnormal characteristics of each organ system, you will recognize the pattern of the syndrome and reach the correct diagnosis. Skills in physical diagnosis are instrumental if you desire to become an astute and competent physician.
The purpose of this book is to provide medical students and physicians with a comprehensive and convenient method for review and self assessment of their pattern recognition skills in physical diagnosis. The 500 brand-new questions cover the most relevant and pertinent topics in medicine.
The questions have been designed to parallel the format and degree of difficulty of the questions contained in medical school physical diagnosis courses as well as the United States Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and Step 2 examinations. Students and physicians preparing for the OSCE or the CSA will find this book to be an excellent resource. This will be a true test of your mastery of physical diagnosis from beginning to end.
Each chapter of the book is based on a specific organ system so students can assess and target their specific weaknesses and strengths. There is a new section on important miscellaneous subjects, such as geriatrics, infectious diseases, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics.
Each question in this book is accompanied by an answer that contains a thorough explanation of the question’s learning objectives and a specific page reference to a current textbook or journal article. All high-yield information in the explanations is bolded for easy reference and access. A special high-yield facts section filled with meaningful mnemonics is included in the back of the book for quick review before examinations. A current and useful bibliography that lists all the sources used in this book follows the last chapter.
Perhaps the most effective way to use this book is to allow yourself one minute to answer each question in a given chapter; as you proceed, indicate your answer beside each question. By following this suggestion, you will be approximating the time limits imposed by the board examinations.
When you have finished answering the questions in a chapter, you should then spend as much time as you need verifying your answers by carefully reading the explanations. Although you should pay special attention to the explanations for the questions you answered incorrectly, you should read every single explanation. Even a question you answer effortlessly is followed with a unique collection of physical diagnosis pearls. Each question and explanation has several important learning objectives, and we have designed the explanations to reinforce and supplement the information tested by the questions. If, after reading the explanations for a given chapter, you feel you need more information about the material covered, you should consult and study the reference indicated.
It is our hope that after completion of this book you will be better able to recognize and understand the clinical characteristics of many important medical syndromes. You are on the road to becoming a master diagnostician if you take the appropriate history and skillfully perform the proper physical examination. Good luck with physical diagnosis at the bedside!
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