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Mastering the diverse knowledge within a field such as anatomy is a formidable task. It is even more difficult to draw on that knowledge, relate it to a clinical setting, and apply it to the context of the individual patient. To gain these skills, the student learns best with good anatomical models or a well-dissected cadaver, at the laboratory bench, guided and instructed by experienced teachers, and inspired toward self-directed, diligent reading. Clearly, there is no replacement for education at the bench. Even with accurate knowledge of the basic science, the application of that knowledge is not always easy. Thus, this collection of patient cases is designed to simulate the clinical approach and stress the clinical relevance to the anatomical sciences.
Most importantly, the explanations for the cases emphasize the mechanisms and structure-function principles rather than merely rote questions and answers. This book is organized for versatility to allow the student "in a rush" to go quickly through the scenarios and check the corresponding answers or to consider the thought-provoking explanations. The answers are arranged from simple to complex: the bare answers, a clinical correlation of the case, an approach to the pertinent topic including objectives and definitions, a comprehension test at the end, anatomical pearls for emphasis, and a list of references for further reading. The clinical vignettes are listed by region to allow for a more synthetic approach to the material. A listing of cases is included in Section III to aid any students who desire to test their knowledge of a certain area or to review a topic including basic definitions. We intentionally used open-ended questions in the case scenarios to encourage the student to think through relations and mechanisms.