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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Thomas M. Guenthner, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book is a review/companion text designed primarily as a study guide for first- and second-year medical students who are taking medical pharmacology. Because it utilizes unique concepts of organization and learning strategy, it distinguishes itself from other pharmacology review/companion texts and establishes a valuable niche for itself.
Purpose: This book is not primarily intended to serve as a review for board exams, but rather provides a framework or strategy for the systematic assimilation of the large number of facts that students are expected to learn and assimilate in a medical pharmacology course. This is a worthy objective, and the author appears to have succeeded admirably.
Audience: Although it could be used for review purposes after completion of a lecture-based course, it will probably be most useful to students when used as a study guide in concert with a full text throughout such a course. The book provides strategies whereby students can efficiently identify the most important facts they need to learn about different classes of drugs.
Features: It suggests prioritized "levels of knowledge," ranging from the highest (mechanism of action of the drug's class) to lowest (chemical structure of the drug), which provide the student with a framework for efficient study. It highlights in boxes throughout the text briefly stated but crucial points that need to be learned, and suggests that the student move on if he or she is comfortable in his or her knowledge of a particular point or use a textbook for in-depth study if not. This is a very efficient way of organizing study effort. The book is written in a familiar, almost colloquial style that is very reassuring. The illustrations are adequate, but not overdone.
Assessment: This is an excellent book that will help students greatly, and I intend to recommend it highly to my own students.