If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have an Access Profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.
Mastering the cognitive knowledge within a field such as pediatrics is a formidable task. It is even more difficult to draw on that knowledge, procure and filter through the clinical and laboratory data, develop a differential diagnosis, and finally form a rational treatment plan. To gain these skills, the student often learns best at the bedside, guided and instructed by experienced teachers, and inspired toward self-directed, diligent reading. Clearly, there is no replacement for education at the bedside. Unfortunately, clinical situations usually do not encompass the breadth of the specialty. Perhaps the best alternative is a carefully crafted patient case designed to stimulate the clinical approach and decision making. In an attempt to achieve that goal, we have constructed a collection of clinical vignettes to teach diagnostic or therapeutic approaches relevant to pediatrics. Most importantly, the explanations for the cases emphasize the mechanisms and underlying principles, rather than merely rote questions and answers. This book is organized for versatility. It allows the student “in a rush” to go quickly through the scenarios and check the corresponding answers, while allowing the student who wants more thought-provoking explanations to go at a more measured pace. The answers are arranged from simple to complex: a summary of the pertinent points, the bare answers, an analysis of the case, an approach to the topic, comprehension questions at the end for reinforcement and emphasis, and a list of references for further reading. A listing of cases is included in Section III to aid the student who desires to test his or her knowledge of a specific area or who wants to review a topic. Finally, we intentionally did not primarily use a multiple-choice question format in our clinical case scenarios because clues (or distractions) are not available in the real world. Nevertheless, several multiple-choice comprehension questions are included at the end of each case discussion to reinforce concepts or introduce related topics.
Each case is designed to simulate a patient encounter with open-ended questions. At times, the patient’s complaint is different from the most concerning issue, and sometimes extraneous information is given. The answers are organized into four different parts:
Summary: The salient aspects of the case are identified, filtering out the extraneous information. Students should formulate their summary from the case before looking at the answers. These are now in bulleted form for easier reading. A comparison to the summation in the answer will help to improve their ability to focus on the important data while appropriately discarding the irrelevant information—a fundamental skill in clinical problem solving.
A straightforward Answer is given to each open-ended question.
The Analysis of the case is composed of two parts:
Objectives: A listing of the main principles that are crucial for a practitioner to manage the patient. Again, the students are challenged to make educated “guesses” about the objectives of the case upon initial review of the case scenario, which helps to sharpen their clinical and analytical skills. The objectives are linked to the entrustable professional activities (EPAs), which are listed in Table 1.
Considerations: A discussion of the relevant points and brief approach to the specific patient.
Approach to the disease process consists of two distinct parts:
Definitions: Terminology pertinent to the disease process.
Clinical Approach: A discussion of the approach to the clinical problem in general, including tables, figures, and algorithms.
Comprehension Questions: Each case contains several multiple-choice questions, which reinforce the material or introduce new and related concepts. Questions about material not found in the text have explanations in the answers.
Clinical Pearls: Several clinically important points are reiterated as a summation of the text. This allows for easy review, such as before an examination.