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The aim of this work is to integrate the basic and clinical science topics of the cardiovascular system in a deliberately clinically oriented review book. Approximately half of the medical schools in the United States have already implemented an integrated curriculum in their pre-clinical programs, a trend which is growing both nationally and internationally. This trend is due in part to the proven benefits of the evidence-based practice of medicine as well as the increasing number of integrative clinical vignette questions in the medical and healthcare professional license examinations. Thus, this book was created to provide a comprehensive review that includes almost all pre-clinical and clinical subjects of the cardiovascular system in a compact volume, replacing the individual subject-specific books, which are now of limited relevance to current curriculum implementation and clinical practice, and providing an instructional resource that is more closely aligned with an integrative approach to the teaching and practice of medicine.

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The book consists of three sections and 17 chapters. The first section has 2 chapters that cover the embryological development and anatomical structure of the cardiovascular system; the second section consists of 5 chapters that explore the basic physiological and biochemical functions of the heart and bloods vessels. The last section, which is the most substantial, has 10 chapters that address the most common cardiovascular diseases in terms of their causes, risk factors, pathophysiological processes, clinical manifestations, diagnoses, and treatment. The final chapter focuses on the most commonly used cardiovascular pharmacological drugs, their mechanisms of actions, clinical uses, and adverse effects. Embedded in almost all chapters are Clinical Correlation boxes which highlight valuable practical applications, and each chapter concludes with clinical Case Study questions resembling those found on licensing examinations, along with their answer keys, annotated with brief explanations. A short list of Suggested Readings is also included at the end of each chapter.

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As the scope of the material is enormous, the book focuses on the most common medical problems in the cardiovascular system and the high-yield areas directed toward medical programs and residency training programs. This review book is intended to be used as a supplement to university-prepared course materials and can serve as an aggregate study guide, especially for the clinically oriented healthcare professional programs.

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A particular strength of this book is that it brings together the collective efforts of more than 20 faculty and clinicians from diverse academic specialties. It has been an extraordinary experience collaborating on this project with such an impressive ensemble of colleagues who represent an international range of institutions, from the College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University and other teaching hospitals in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada; and the College of Medicine, University of Sharjah and University Hospital in the United Arab Emirates.

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In an interesting coincidence, on a personal note, I am writing this preface on the campus of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where I am participating in a Global Health Delivery Program and reflecting on the interconnectivity and impact of the global setting on determining best evidence-based practices and veritas (truth) with regard to knowledge and the delivery of healthcare. Certainly, this review volume is a testament to the strength of inclusion of a diverse range of experts in a field of cardiovascular health professionals. May this volume serve to support the education and training of medical students, residents, and all other healthcare professional trainees.

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Adel Elmoselhi, MD, PhD

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