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From The CriticsReviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the fourth edition of a well known, comprehensive, clinically oriented textbook on psychiatric medicine. The previous edition was published in 1999.
Purpose: According to the editors, the purpose is to provide the finest one-volume, clinically oriented textbook in the field. They have succeeded.
Audience: The book is written for advanced psychiatry residents and practicing psychiatrists, as well as other clinicians who may treat a psychiatrically ill population.
Features: This is essentially a comprehensive review of psychiatric medicine, as the field is understood today. The book is divided into four parts covering theoretical foundations, psychiatric disorders, psychiatric treatment and special clinical topics. The content of the first three parts is self-explanatory; special topics include such subjects as forensic psychiatry, psychiatric illness and pregnancy, etc. Each part contains numerous chapters written by authorities in the field. Each chapter is followed by an extensive reference list. The chapters themselves are outlined in an easy to follow format and are clearly written. The chapter on supportive psychotherapy is particularly well written and concise. Perhaps best of all is the enclosed CD-ROM, which contains the entire text of the DSM-IV TR, the APA Practice Guidelines, and several other APA publications.
Assessment: The two traditional textbooks in American psychiatry are this one and Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 7th edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000). I believe this new APA Textbook is the better choice for numerous reasons: the convenience of one volume (Kaplan and Sadock's is two volumes), the better written (and less dry) presentation, the ease of use (Kaplan and Sadock's is often confusing in its approach and outline), and the inclusion of the outstanding CD-ROM. Although Kaplan and Sadock's may be somewhat more comprehensive, the APA Textbook is the best reference for the majority of practicing psychiatrists.