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From The CriticsReviewer: Brett C. Plyler, M.D. (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This book is designed to teach medical students the basics of behavioral science and epidemiology through the use of a concise format of clinical cases, tables, text, and follow-up questions.
Purpose: The purpose is to help medical students learn the basics of behavioral science and epidemiology in a formatted template that centers around relevant clinical cases for each subject.
Audience: The audience is medical students.
Features: The book covers a topics ranging from the behavioral sciences (e.g. sexual development, obesity) to psychiatry/neuroscience (e.g. bipolar and abuse disorders) to epidemiology and biostatistics (e.g. study designs and descriptive statistics). The layout is well organized with each chapter opening with an appropriate clinical case is followed by "thought" questions. Next, there is a review and discussion section with key points listed in a table format. Finally, there are multiple-choice questions (answers are located at the end of each section) that serve to reinforce the important aspects of each chapter. The tables are laid out in an easy to read and understand format. There are no references.
Assessment: Overall this is a good book for medical students studying the behavioral sciences and epidemiology. It is well organized and easy to read. The cases at the beginning of each section make the discussion interesting and relevant to a clinical encounter. This improves understanding and retention of the material. The discussions are not too lengthy and of appropriate depth for a medical student. The key point tables serve to summarize the important parts of the chapter for a quick review. The questions at the end of each section draw on the material discussed to reinforce the highlights. The only problem is the lack of references, which could be problematic if further reading is required.