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The curriculum that evolved into the ideas for this series was inspired by two talented and forthright students, Philbert Yao and Chuck Rosipal, who have since graduated from medical school. It has been a tremendous joy to work with my friend and colleague Lydia Conlay, a brilliant anesthesiologist and medical educator, and the many excellent contributors. I am greatly indebted to my editor, Catherine Johnson, whose exuberance, experience, and vision helped to shape this series. I appreciate McGraw-Hill's believing in the concept of teaching through clinical cases. I am also grateful to Catherine Saggese for her excellent production expertise. At Methodist Hospital, I appreciate the great support from Drs. Marc Boom, Dirk Sostman, Alan Kaplan, and Karin Larsen-Pollock. Likewise, without Ayse McCracken, David Campbell, and Linda Swagger for their advice and support, this book may never have been completed. Without my dear colleagues, Drs. Konrad Harms, Jeané Holmes, and Priti Schachel, this book could not have been written. Most of all, I appreciate my loving wife, Terri, and my four wonderful children, Andy, Michael, Allison, and Christina, for their patience and understanding.