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From The CriticsReviewer: Daniel Loiterstein, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This reference book reviews the existing knowledge at the interface between psychiatry and medicine. This is the first edition of a book that will surely be updated in future years.
Purpose: With the creation of psychosomatic medicine as a distinct specialty within psychiatry, a definition of scope was required. This book serves as the cornerstone, providing boundaries and explanation of purpose, to a developing specialty. In addition, the book can be referred to as a standard of information in the specialty. The editors and authors succeed in their purpose of providing a tome for psychosomatic medicine.
Audience: The book is intended as a reference for those interested in psychiatric aspects of medical illness. The primary audience is psychiatrists, but any practitioner with an interest in behavior would find the book appropriate. The editor is a qualified scholar in psychosomatic medicine. He has chosen a wide range of academic psychiatrists to author individual chapters.
Features: The 40 chapters are split into four sections. The first section reviews broad principles in the evaluation and treatment of psychiatric illness in a medical setting. An analysis of psychiatric disorders in the medical illness follows. The subsequent chapters evaluate psychiatric disorders in diverse medical specialties. The last section reviews general treatment principles in the medically ill. Many tables are used to deliver information in a compact, organized fashion. Each chapter is followed with a multitude of relevant references.
Assessment: This is a standard text that will serve as the foundation of the new specialty of psychosomatic medicine. It is a repository for a growing knowledge base about the interface between medicine and psychiatry.