The basis for an internal medicine casebook originated several years ago, born of my conviction that house staff and students are stimulated and motivated best when their learning is focused on real patients. Steps were taken, therefore, to augment the patient-oriented instruction of our house staff and students. This was accomplished in large part by our in-house publication of a large number of patient cases covering a variety of diseases that formed the curriculum for medical students and the house staff rotating through the medical wards and taking subspecialty electives. These patient cases became the basis for the first edition of The Internal Medicine Casebook: Real Patients, Real Answers. Since the first two editions have been so well received, I am even more convinced of the need for such a patient-oriented educational tool.
In this third edition of the Casebook, we have revised and updated the patient-oriented cases, which cover approximately 90 areas of internal medicine. First, the pertinent aspects of the patient's history and physical examination are presented. Questions are then posed about the appropriate diagnostic workup and treatment. This sets the stage for a Socratic approach to learning between the attending physician and the house officer or medical student. The format of the Casebook also lends itself to self-instruction with this question-and-answer approach.
The Internal Medicine Casebook: Real Patients, Real Answers has proved to be an invaluable learning tool to students and house officers, and also a teaching aid to anyone involved in the education of future physicians. I am grateful for the expertise and support of the authors, each of whom is an eminently qualified educator and highly regarded leader in his or her field. I also thank Jan Darling for her editorial assistance.