There are two essential goals of a student studying human neu-robiology, or, for that matter, the student of any of the medical sciences. The first is to gain the knowledge base and diagnostic skills to become a competent health care professional. Addressing the medical needs of the patient with insight, skill, and compassion is paramount. The second is to successfully negotiate whatever examination procedures are used in a given setting. These may be standard class examinations, Subject National Board Examination (now used/required in many courses), the USMLE Step 1 Examination (required of all U.S. medical students), or simply the desire, on the part of the student, for self-assessment.
The questions in this chapter are prepared in two general styles. First, there are study or review questions that test general knowledge concerning the structure of the central nervous system. Many of these have a functional flavor. Second, there are single one best answer questions in the USMLE style that use a patient vignette approach in the stem. These questions have been carefully reviewed for clinical accuracy and relevance as used in these examples. At the end of each explained answer, page numbers appear in parentheses that specify where the correct answer, be it in a figure or in the text, may be found. In order to make this a fruitful learning exer cise, some answers may contain additional relevant information to extend the educational process.
In general, the questions are organized by individual chapters, although chapters 1 and 2 and chapters 3 and 4 are combined. Reference to the page (or pages) containing the correct answer are usually to the chapter(s) from which the question originated. However, recognizing that neuroscience is dynamic and three-dimensional, some answers contain references to chapters other than that from which the question originated. This provides a greater level of integration by bringing a wider range of information to bear on a single question.
Correct diagnosis of the neurologically compromised patient not only requires integration of information contained in different chapters but may also require inclusion of concepts gained in other basic science courses. In this regard a few questions, and their answers, may include such additional basic concepts.
This is not an all-inclusive list of questions, but rather a sampling that covers a wide variety of neuroanatomical and clinically relevant points. There is certainly a much larger variety of questions that could be developed from the topics covered in this atlas. It is hoped that this sample will give the user a good idea of how basic neuroscience information correlates with a range of clinically relevant topics.
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