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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Lesley M Davila, MD (Washington University Medical Center)
Description: This well-written handbook for primary care physicians describes commonly seen rheumatologic and musculoskeletal conditions.
Purpose: The authors' goals are to provide a summary and simplification of the important aspects of rheumatology directed to the primary care or other healthcare providers who are not rheumatologists. Although a variety of literature is available on these topics already, a concise, expert-guided review such as this would be quite handy.
Audience: Written for primary care and internal medicine practitioners, the book also would be an excellent overview for medical students and residents, focusing as it does more on patient care issues such as diagnosis and treatment of problems than on pathophysiology of disease. The authors are experts in the field.
Features: The book covers lab testing, musculoskeletal complaints, and what to expect in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and vasculitis. An excellent chapter covers bone radiology. Also particularly well covered are diagnostic criteria and lists of appropriate tests to order when a diagnosis is suspected.
Assessment: This is an excellent guide to rheumatologic and musculoskeletal conditions seen in the primary care practice. It provides detailed plans for diagnosis of these conditions as well as a quick review of the newest drugs and treatments. It is essential for any healthcare professional taking care of patients who may have rheumatologic conditions.