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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bradley R. Cutler, MD (Edward Hospital and Health Services)
Description: Part of the 100 Cases series, this is a collection of psychiatry cases designed with the student in mind.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the readers with a structured framework for assessing and managing psychiatric patients by using real patient presentations.
Audience: The book is intended to facilitate "self-directed learning, clinical reasoning, and problem-solving" in students. In particular, it is meant to help students prepare for their psychiatric rotations, practice for standardized patient assessments, and study for written examinations.
Features: In its 100 cases, the book covers a broad variety of subjects from child and adolescent psychiatry to geriatric psychiatry. Each case begins with a patient history followed by the significant findings of the clinical exam as well as any additional pertinent data. A list of questions then encourages readers to determine the appropriate assessment and plan. Following this initial case presentation, subsequent pages provide a detailed approach for the case, with sections detailing diagnostic criteria, differential diagnosis, and key points.
Assessment: While most psychiatric books describe psychiatric disorders without the context of a patient, this book adds an extra dimension by describing mental illnesses in the context of a particular patient. The names of the cases alone provide the readers with a teaser, drawing them into the case. For example, once case is titled, "A Drink a Day to Keep my Problems Away" while another is called, "I Only Smoked a Bit of Cannabis and Took a Couple of Es." The cases describe actual patient presentations, allowing the readers to engage and picture patients they may see on the wards. The list of questions encourages readers to ask even more questions, prompting them to consider a wide variety of diagnoses, assessments, and treatment options. Each case discussion provides a helpful framework for approaching the patient. Among the excellent topics the book covers are the basic tenets of CBT, the CAGE questionnaire, and Schneider's first rank symptoms of schizophrenia. Moreover, cases on psychoanalysis with descriptions of transference and countertransference make clear that the authors are dedicated to teaching readers about the importance of therapy in addition to medication management. Medical students will find this to be an outstanding book, helping them to learn how to assess not just diseases, but the patients as well.