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This book is a collection of multiple choice questions (MCQs) to promote the learning of pathology in the framework of preclinical and clinical disciplines. The main features of the book are the following:
The MCQs are all of the type that is used for the Step 1 medical board exams in the United States and are written according to United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) guidelines (i.e., patient-centered vignettes). All questions are “one best answer”; in most cases, there are five answer choices, but in some cases fewer or more choices are given.
Because the MCQs are about pathology, each question is based upon a specific pathologic condition. To correctly answer each question requires a student to use the information given to diagnose the condition, or, the question stem assumes that a student will know the diagnosis, and a question about the disease process is asked instead.
Each MCQ is provided with a level of difficulty, a learning objective, the correct answer, and an explanation.
There are three levels of difficulty: easy, medium, and hard. In general, an easy difficulty question requires only a diagnosis based upon the question stem, whereas a medium difficulty question requires not just the diagnosis of the condition based upon the question stem, but knowledge about that diagnosis so as to answer a question about it (i.e., the student is assumed to know the diagnosis, and a question about the diagnosis is asked), and hard difficulty questions are a combination of medium difficulty questions with less commonly known material about the diagnosis. Question ratings by their nature are subjective; however, every attempt was made to follow the above approach when determining the difficulty of a question. A single question may be easy for one student to answer and hard for another student to answer based upon their knowledge base and test-taking skills.
The learning objective is a brief behavioral statement written using an action verb. If a student can perform the action, then he or she should be able to answer the question correctly. The explanation includes both the reasons why a given answer is correct and why the distractors are wrong.
Many questions are related to the highest levels of Bloom’s taxonomy (e.g., interpretation of data and solution of problems) rather than being simple recall questions.
Most MCQs are integrated questions, and a good knowledge of the relevant human physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, and elementary clinical medicine is a necessary prerequisite to determine the right answer to the question. Therefore, the question with its answer explanation can also be used as a powerful tool for reviewing and integrating the medical science disciplines.
The MCQs are grouped in chapters covering most topics presented in standard pathology textbooks. There are 20 to 40 MCQs in each chapter, totaling over 1000 questions.
MCQs are the learning tool most frequently used by medical students. This book is intended as an integrated tool for both course study and board exam preparation. Because the book is organized along clinical rather than strictly pathological lines, it should be useful for Step1 preparation, but also for Step 2 exam preparation.
Pathology, especially the molecular aspect, is a fastevolving discipline. The authors have checked sources believed to be reliable, in order to provide information that is in accordance with the currently accepted standards. However, the authors are aware that in several instances the pathology of disease is still controversial. They have tried, as much as possible, to avoid questions addressing controversial issues.
This book is not intended to be a substitute for pathology textbooks. Students are strongly advised to consult their textbooks of pathology for more indepth coverage of the subject matter.
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