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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jadranka Popovic, MD (Children's Mercy Hospital)
Description: This is a short overview of both frequently seen and less common conditions in pediatrics written in a vignette style. The book covers 17 pediatric subspecialties including pediatric general surgery, dermatology, urology, and orthopedics. It is an update of the 1999 edition and has a companion color atlas supplement.
Purpose: According to the authors, the objective is to address the increasing number of clinical vignette questions on medical examinations including the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 in an easy-to-use and readable format. The objectives are worthy, but there are numerous books on the market with a similar format aiming for the same audience. This book will be particularly helpful for medical students who already have some clinical exposure and have read some of the pediatrics textbooks.
Audience: The book is intended for medical students, and first year residents and those preparing for board exams might find it helpful for a quick overview.
Features: Chapters are broken down by pediatric subspecialties. Useful features are the "mini cases" that are spread throughout the book. At the beginning, there is an extensive list of the abbreviations used in the book. Although written in a vignette form and most likely enhanced with the use of the color atlas (which I did not have), the text is somewhat dry. The authors state that "this is the condensed review and not a primary reference," but the vignette form should be more concise and easier to follow. In addition, some of the important facts in the endocrine section are either incomplete, misleading, obsolete, or completely omitted. For example the authors have not mentioned insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and diabetic ketoacidosis, rather frequent pediatric conditions. References are not included.
Assessment: This book would provide a helpful brief overview and discussion of some common and less common pediatric diagnoses.