Clinical Cases by Organ System. Click on the menu buttons above to explore the cases.

After a few weeks of clinical practice, medical students and residents realize that patients are often different from the classic disease descriptions in the textbooks. One experienced physician summarized this by saying: "his asthma did not read the book." How to bridge this gap between theory and practice? Our answer was to create this free case-based curriculum of clinical medicine. was featured in the British Medical Journal and, and was referenced several times in the medical education literature. The project is hyperlinked in the websites of 37 medical schools in the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe and Asia, and has had more than 7 million page views since 2005.

This case-based curriculum was started by physicians at Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University for the purpose of medical education
(no real-life case descriptions are included). All case descriptions are fictional. Please read the website disclaimer

Physical Examination Videos

Vocal vs. tactile fremitus? Percussion of the spleen? You can refresh your physical exam skills by reviewing medical videos offered by several U.S. medical schools and other organizations.

Click here for selected clinical images from our archive and the NEJM.

Electrocardiograms, X-rays, CT scans

Electrocardiograms (ECG/EKG)

ECG Wave-Maven by Harvard Medical School is a fully-fledged ECG-trainer. You can browse through typical or not so typical EKGs in the EKG World Encyclopedia by McGill University.

Check out the arrhythmia simulator by SkillStat with a play, pause and quiz mode.

ECG Web Brain is a useful online and iPad/iPod reference (no longer free, $15 per year).

Our own A Systematic Approach to Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) Interpretation by Using 2 Mnemonics also be helpful along with EKGs with Dr. Koch: It's Not Only Educational It's Also Fun!

Videos: ECG Video part 1: For Med Students studying the basics of reading an electrocardiogram, from the University of Wisconsin. See part 2 of the video on YouTube.

X-rays and CT scans

The University of Virginia has a comprehensive web site dedicated to CXR and CT scans. Compare what you see on the screen to the CT scans of your patient. You are not sure if this is the tail of the pancreas? Just click with the mouse and the anatomical structure is colored in red.

ICU CXR is another useful website from University of Virginia. It will answer such burning questions as "Is the central line where it is supposed to be?" or "Does he have a pneumothorax?!" is another excellent resource.

See more links by APDIM E-Learning Task Force: Cardiac Auscultation, Chest X-Rays, Electrocardiograms, Patient Images (Dermatology), Pulmonary Function Tests and a teaching website for CT and MRI of Head, Neck, Brain, and Spine by a neuroradiology fellow at Duke University.

Clinical Cases in Test Format

The answers are provided at the end of each case.

Anemia with hemoglobin 4.2 mg/dL. What is the cause?

Shortness of breath and diffuse ground glass pattern on CT of the chest. What is the cause?

Abdominal pain in a 93-year-old male. What is the cause?

Elderly female with CHF complains of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and confusion for 5 days. What is the cause?

Web Site Disclaimer

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All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer.

Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. If you are a patient, please see your doctor for evaluation of your individual case. Under no circumstances will the authors be liable to you for any direct or indirect damages arising in connection with use of this website.

There are no real life patient data on this website. Please note: we do not write or “blog” about patients. All case descriptions are fictional, similar to the descriptions you can find in a multiple choice questions textbook for board exam preparation. Case courses and descriptions do not follow real cases. Report a suspected HIPAA violation to:

The appearance of external hyperlinks to other websites does not constitute endorsement. We do not verify, endorse, or take responsibility for the accuracy, currency, completeness or quality of the content contained in these sites.

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Updated: 04/18/2012