Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases

Course No. 1977
Professor Roy Benaroch, M.D.
Emory University
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Course No. 1977
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Course Overview

When you’re sick, you go to a doctor to figure out what’s wrong. But how doctors work isn’t some impenetrable mystery. Rather, there’s an art and science that goes into how they diagnose and treat patients.

Where do doctors gain these skills? The answer: the Grand Rounds experience, an essential part of medical students’ education and the ongoing process whereby doctors practice how to make diagnoses by examining real patients. Watching doctors solve medical problems like detectives is a fascinating way to explore medicine. And by understanding how doctors help patients, you’ll

  • make better sense of future visits to your doctor;
  • improve the way you communicate with your doctor;
  • get a rewarding introduction to how doctors think and work; and
  • witness critical thinking skills at work in the medical world.

With The Great Courses, you don’t have to soldier through medical school to learn how doctors diagnose and treat patients. All you need is Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases, in which Dr. Roy Benaroch, a practicing physician and an adjunct assistant professor of pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine, guides you through 24 unique Grand Rounds that reveal insights into how doctors do what they do. Whether you’re a patient, a current or future medical professional, or someone just looking to enjoy a good mystery, you’ll discover how doctors

  • use medical science to identify and combat conditions, injuries, and diseases;
  • uncover tiny clues patients can sometimes fail to notice;
  • sometimes make misdiagnoses that lead to costly (and life-threatening) problems; and
  • think their way toward putting patients on the fast track to proper treatment.

Investigate Intriguing Medical Mysteries

Each lecture is a specific Grand Rounds in which you’re presented with a perplexing problem and then follow an expert as he takes the necessary steps to figure out the underlying issue and how best to treat it. Among the insights you’ll learn are

  • what specific questions doctors ask—and why;
  • what doctors look for during physical exams or when examining test results; and
  • how doctors use a network of information to narrow down a diagnosis.

Drawn from actual medical stories, these 24 Grand Rounds take you everywhere from the calm of a doctor’s office to the chaos of an emergency room.

  • A 33-year-old man has a fever he can’t get rid of and mouth sores. Yet he was perfectly healthy two months ago. How does a doctor go from this to discovering one of today’s most notorious diseases?
  • A member of an Antarctic expedition, suffering from constant nausea, needs emergency surgery. But he’s the only person who can perform it. Why is this nausea so life threatening?
  • You’re the only eyewitness to a horrible motorcycle accident. How does one treat a trauma patient when every second matters? And what happens after you get to the emergency room?

These and other individuals offer intimate ways for you to practice the same strategic thinking and decision-making skills doctors rely on to save lives.

Become a Smarter, Healthier Patient

In the hands of Dr. Benaroch, you’ll get a rewarding learning experience that illustrates his knowledge of medicine and, above all, his ability to transform medical cases into thrilling adventures that will have you thoroughly captivated.

Because Dr. Benaroch can teach off the strengths of his roles as a full-time practicing physician and instructor of pediatrics, you’ll gain medical knowledge in layman’s terms that can be easily understood by the average patient. Couple that with in-studio demonstrations, diagrams of the human body, and other informative visual elements, and you’ve got an exciting new way to think about medicine—and to become the smarter, healthier patient you deserve to be.

About Your Professor

Dr. Roy Benaroch is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine and practices medicine full time at Pediatric Physicians, PC, located near Atlanta, Georgia. He earned his M.D. from Emory University.

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24 lectures
 |  Average 30 minutes each
  • 1
    I Never Feel Good
    Start your rounds with a trip to a general clinic, where you meet a patient whose chief complaint is, “I never feel good.” Along the way, you’ll learn how doctors solve mysteries like this with the aid of several tools—the most important being the patient’s medical history. x
  • 2
    A Persistent Fever
    Go back to an outpatient clinic in 1981, where a young man’s fever, cough, and ulcers led to a surprising diagnosis. This powerful lecture is an opportunity to learn more of the basic tools of medical diagnoses and to discover how doctors began to fight back against this modern epidemic. x
  • 3
    Puzzling Pain
    Learn how critical a complete medical history, a thorough physical exam, and collaboration between doctors can be to make a tricky diagnosis. Your patient: “Louisa,” a woman who has suffered from abdominal pain for years. Does she have irritable bowel syndrome? Is it all just psychological? Or is it something else entirely? x
  • 4
    Just Look at Me
    This lecture’s case involves an illness that’s been around for millennia but which many of today’s physicians have never seen. It involves a 10-year-old boy suffering from a rash that doesn’t bother him, red-appearing eyes, and a cough. And the true culprit is one that could easily have been prevented. x
  • 5
    Headaches in Wonderland
    Your patient is back in the emergency room with another “sinus headache,” but the nurses think he’s just after drugs. What’s the real story? In finding out, you’ll learn how physicians diagnose headaches; the differences between primary and secondary headaches; red flags doctors look for when determining their severity; and more. x
  • 6
    The Tennis Player
    Discover how doctors diagnose a common disease that can kill a healthy 36-year-old woman in months but, in a 90-year-old, may not need to be treated at all. Through the case of a woman with increasing hip pain, you’ll learn more about the genetics of this disease, ways to test for it, and more. x
  • 7
    Sudden Collapse
    You’re at the grocery and the person next to you suddenly collapses. What do you do? Here, learn how doctors (and laypeople) can use basic lifesaving steps to deal with a sudden catastrophe. Also, explore the methods physicians use to prevent health emergencies before they happen. x
  • 8
    School Failure
    Meet a surly young man who could just be your typical teenager—or who could be suffering from an illness that’s a severe threat to young adults. His story is a fascinating window into how doctors sort through myriad symptoms to diagnose and alleviate a highly prevalent—and all too serious—medical problem. x
  • 9
    Dizzy Attacks
    Tina suffers from attacks of dizziness and is certain she has hypoglycemia, but doctors should never fall into the mental trap of starting a diagnosis with a false assumption. In this intriguing lecture, Dr. Benaroch shows you how physicians make expert diagnoses when one specific test isn’t available. x
  • 10
    Weight Loss
    Charlene has come into your office for a checkup and it is clear that she’s lost a significant amount of weight. Follow along as Dr. Benaroch uses his medical savvy to make a diagnosis, reveal insights into what the real problem is, and establish a course of treatment that goes far beyond just taking pills. x
  • 11
    I Can’t Walk
    Discover how a young man’s painful calves lead to a surprising diagnosis. As you’ll learn, sometimes even the most uncommon of complaints can signify the presence of a fairly common illness. You’ll also discover why you should never underestimate the seriousness of this particular diagnosis. x
  • 12
    Learning from Failure
    Sometimes doctors make mistakes. As Dr. Benaroch guides you through the diagnosis of a patient with a case of recurrent hives, he reveals several powerful lessons for both doctors and patients. These include insisting on clear instructions and remembering that treating the disease is not the same as treating the patient. x
  • 13
    The Children Who Come and Go
    The case here - a weak and listless baby - offers an illuminating window into how doctors treat sick infants diagnosed with this mystery condition (which has powerful roots in our genetic code). You’ll learn how genes encode for proteins; the psychopathology of diseases caused by genetic structural changes; and more. x
  • 14
    Guardian’s Day
    How does a doctor get from the common complaint of constipation to a diagnosis of something much more dangerous? In solving this medical riddle, you’ll learn about a particular medical epidemic so powerful and prevalent that, in one county in Kentucky, it’s deprived many children of their parents. x
  • 15
    Dickens’s Diagnosis
    At 55 years of age and quite overweight, Joe falls asleep all the time. Is it narcolepsy? Is it kidney disease? The real culprit, you’ll discover, is a condition originally described by author Charles Dickens; one whose effects are more wide-ranging (and life-threatening) on the human body than you can imagine. x
  • 16
    Shaking Sammi
    Meet Sammi, an infant girl who’s brought to the emergency room and suddenly starts shaking right on the examining table. How do doctors act to both help her and diagnose her as the attack happens? And what are the mysterious connections between the underlying diagnosis and a critical deficiency? x
  • 17
    Hickam’s Dictum
    Sometimes, a single patient can have more than one disease (a medical “philosophy” called Hickam’s Dictum). This idea is illustrated by a middle-aged woman who can’t stop vomiting. The road to determining her interconnected diagnoses is a harrowing story that illustrates why doctors always need to stay on their toes. x
  • 18
    Forgetting Jerusalem
    Explore from two perspectives the case of a patient with a mysterious illness. First, see how doctors diagnose his condition and work with the patient to prevent a medical emergency so old it’s mentioned in the Bible. Then, find out what happens in the worst-case scenario, where time is of the essence in saving a life. x
  • 19
    Sherlock’s Investigation
    Step inside a university’s student health center, where your patient, Elena, makes repeated visits complaining of nausea, then vision troubles, then a urinary tract infection. What’s going on here? Investigate how seasoned doctors act like Sherlock Holmes to arrive at a diagnosis of a disease that predominantly affects young adults. x
  • 20
    The Boy Who Doesn’t Speak
    This lecture’s diagnosis is surrounded by controversy about what causes this specific illness, how it should be treated, and even how common it is. In exploring how doctors approach it, you’ll learn insights into childhood development; specifically, how to know when something may be wrong and what tests can help narrow down a cause. x
  • 21
    Antarctic Adventure
    You’re on an expedition in Antarctica. You’re diagnosed with a problem that requires immediate emergency surgery, and there’s only one person who can perform it: you. Use this real-life scenario from the Soviet Union’s Sixth Antarctic Expedition in 1961 as an intriguing window into how doctors diagnose and treat this problem in less extreme, 21st-century circumstances. x
  • 22
    A Sunday Drive
    This Grand Rounds starts with you as an eyewitness to a serious motorbike accident, where the diagnosis is obvious and the story lies in what happens to the body when it’s pushed to the edge of survival. Follow this patient from treatment at the site to lifesaving strategies in the emergency room. x
  • 23
    Cough, Cough, Cough
    Margo, a 49-year-old woman, goes to the doctor with a persistent cough. What are the common (and not-so-common) causes of persistent coughing? How do trained doctors analyze cough for clues about an underlying diagnosis? And when this particular diagnosis is reached—how is it treated in an outpatient clinic? x
  • 24
    A Confused Father
    Dr. Benaroch concludes this lecture series with an elderly patient who has frequent confusion and forgetfulness. Is the most obvious diagnosis the correct one? Then, he sums up the many lessons you’ve learned throughout the course, both about being a good doctor and a good patient. x

Lecture Titles

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  • 24 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • 208-page printed course guidebook
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Course Guidebook Details:
  • 208-page course synopsis
  • Photos & illustrations
  • Suggested readings
  • Questions to consider

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Your professor

Roy Benaroch

About Your Professor

Roy Benaroch, M.D.
Emory University
Dr. Roy Benaroch is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine. He earned his B.S. in Engineering at Tulane University, followed by his M.D. at Emory University. He completed his residency through Emory University’s affiliated hospitals in 1997, serving as chief resident and instructor of pediatrics in 1998. Board certified in general pediatrics in 1997, Dr. Benaroch practices...
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Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 110.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Consistently Edifying Anyone can benefit from this course. It is illuminating, enjoyable and often intriguing. The teacher has a patient and pleasing style. The student will not be overwhelmed by the technical nor feel like the material was "dumbed down.".
Date published: 2020-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great presenter, interesting contents. I have just finished watching Dr Benaroch's series called Medical School for Everyone. His body language and style of presentation are highly idiosyncratic, and may take a bit of getting used to, but they grow on you: I came to like them by the end of the first lecture. The presentations were a bit different from what I had expected. I thought I would be shown real patients, and instead the doctor described the various cases. However, Dr Benaroch has the ability to paint three dimensional pictures with his words, and he uses photos and other images to illustrate his various points, too. If you are interested in medical matters, and are fascinated by the way doctors arrive at a certain diagnosis, you will enjoy this lecture-series very much.
Date published: 2020-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Practicing Medicine Is Like Reading a Crime Scene In this excellent course with Dr. Benaroch, you quickly learn that diagnostic medicine resembles the work of a police detective. You assemble the clues and apply the explanation that fits them best. If there are still multiple explanations, go out and find more clues. In medicine, patients are the most important source of information. Of course, they do not usually arrive with a ready diagnosis, or they wouldn’t need a physician. Instead the patient brings in a “chief complaint,” such as a persistent cough or a rash or bad pain in the gut, which the physician takes as the starting point of his or her inquiry. The patient also provides a history of the present illness, with details about when the problem started, whether it is continuous or intermittent, and which other physicians the patient has already consulted. The physician must complete the story by finding out all the symptoms, some of which the patient may not have connected with his or her chief complaint, and check the vital signs--body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and overall appearance. Finally, the physician lists possible diagnoses that match the symptoms and history. After paring down the list as much as possible, he or she orders one or more tests to confirm or refute the suspected diagnosis. Only then can treatment begin. Note the relative importance of patient history and vital signs against tests. Modern testing is technically brilliant, with laboratories for analyzing blood, urine and other bodily substances, and machines for scanning the patient with X-rays (including computer tomography), ultrasound waves, or a magnetic field (the MRI). There are also specialized tests for assessing the presence of HIV/AIDS, diabetes, celiac disease, allergies, and anemia, among other diseases. Yet the old-fashioned patient history and check for vital signs are still the first and essential steps in arriving at a diagnosis. As you already know, patients see the physician not only for the diagnosis, but also the treatment. I say treatment rather than cure because the problem is often incurable and must be managed with changes in diet or lifestyle, vitamin or mineral tablets, or pain relief medication. Measures that can cure certain illnesses include antibiotics, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Unfortunately, physicians make mistakes and Dr. Benaroch uses his cases (which are partly fictionalized to protect patient privacy) to warn against them. If you are a doctor, don’t focus only on explanations related to your specialty (if you have one) to the exclusion of others. Don’t fail to tease out missing pieces of the history that the patient may be too embarrassed to reveal. Don’t order unnecessary tests or let test results distract you from addressing the patient’s complaint. Make sure you give your patient clear instructions for treatment or other action by the end of your session. If you are a patient, make sure to tell the physician everything, and that means everything, that might be related to your health problem, and don’t go home without understanding what you should do next. Each of the twenty-four lectures has its own disease as well as other ones for comparison. They include common ones like cancer, migraines, drug and alcohol addiction, the flu, and diabetes as well as more unusual ones that I had never heard of, like Ménière’s disease, celiac disease (the cause of all that gluten free food now on the market), Wernicke’s encephalopathy, and chronic idiopathic urticaria. I won’t spoil the course by telling you which problem is in which lecture. Everything is so well-presented and easy to understand, you might get the idea that medicine isn’t so difficult after all, and that anyone can do it with some hard work and motivation. The cure for THAT idea is Anthony Goodman’s Understanding the Human Body: An Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (Great Courses # 160). Watch it and you’ll find out just how complicated our bodies are.
Date published: 2020-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Diagnosis This course really delivers!!! Highly entertaining and informative Helps the layperson to better understand how a doctor thinks while at the same time presenting the interested student a diagnostic challenge! I am a retired Middle School teacher, a
Date published: 2020-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting I truly enjoy the course. It shows that to be a good physician, you need to be a good detective. It gave me an insight of how most doctors think, and I feel it will help me communicate better next time I see a physician. The one thing I wish we had, (not just with his course), is the ability to have some sort of practice test for every lesson to test if you truly understood the material. Just make it available for whoever wants to take it. Other than that, outstanding job.
Date published: 2020-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative, but the title is misleading Very interesting case histories of various patients and diagnoses. Not medical school, but instead, a window into the practice of medicine
Date published: 2020-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course..talented instructor. This is a fascinating course. The doctor is an outstanding lecturer. I have greatly enjoyed working my way through each case. I will gladly take the pediatrics case next
Date published: 2019-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Practical medicine well explained The grand rounds approach covered important topics very well. The material was intermediate in depth coverage and not much beyond a lay person's understanding. In some topics, there could have been a more detailed discussion and the different drugs that would be applicable. Wish there were another 50 grand round cases.
Date published: 2019-10-19
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