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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: With approximately 800 multiple-choice type questions separated into various categories to assist in characterizing the nature of the material being covered, this book presents a broad base of knowledge for students in the specialty area of psychiatry.
Purpose: Written to be used as a tool in preparing for Step II of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), or the "Shelf Exam" often given to students at the end of their psychiatry rotation in medical school, this book of questions covers areas such as neuroanatomy and legal/ethical issues.
Audience: This book is geared primarily toward third and fourth year medical students completing their clerkships in psychiatry or preparing for the second step of the USMLE.
Features: Divided into 10 chapters, the first eight separate various areas of psychiatry into topics such as child and adolescent psychiatry and adult psychiatry for a more specific question focus. The remaining two chapters include 100 questions of random distribution to mimic the format of the actual examinations. Each chapter ends with a discussion of the correct answer, as well as an explanation as to why the other answers were incorrect, a useful tool when studying to prevent spending excess time looking up information in other sources.
Assessment: The most useful portion of this book for students will likely be the final two chapters, which can help them assess their knowledge prior to sitting for their specific examination. Because the therapeutic, diagnostic, and pharmacologic information has been recently updated, and uses terminology and criteria from books such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Text Revision, 4th edition (DSM-IV-TR) (American Psychiatric Publishing, 2000), it is likely to assist students in preparation without overwhelming them with details. And while a few of the answers provided were arguable, overall it is an accurate and fairly complete review.