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From The CriticsReviewer: Aaron Plattner, MD (Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services)
Description: Using the feedback from medical students on the 2006 edition of this book, the authors provide high-yield cases and a review of the basis of psychiatry to teach essential concepts.
Purpose: The purpose is to enable medical students to succeed in their psychiatry clerkship and shelf-exam in a time-efficient manner.
Audience: The book is intended for medical students during their clerkship in psychiatry. It also would be helpful for medical students in preparation for USMLE Step 2, and for psychiatrists who teach medical students.
Features: The first of the book's four sections is an overview of how to approach the basics of psychiatry including assessing a psychiatric patient, clinical problem solving, the DSM-IV, and how to most effectively use the book. Section II is a concise introduction to psychotherapy and psychopharmacotherapy. Section III is 60 high-yield cases consisting of the case presentation, summary of the case, differential diagnosis, treatment strategies, and a complete discussion of the presenting disease. These sections contain bolded words, clinical pearls, references, illustrations, tables, definitions of key terms, and USMLE-style questions with explanations of the answers. Section IV is a listing of the cases by case number, disorder (alphabetically), and DSM-IV categories.
Assessment: During medical school, I used similar case review books for various clerkships, including psychiatry. This one stands out because the cases are representative of psychiatry, the explanations are complete yet concise, and the text uses bolded words, tables, and definitions of key terms to help readers understand the essential concepts rather than simply memorizing more data that is likely to be forgotten. The questions are very representative of the type of questions on the shelf-exams and USMLE Step 2, with appropriate descriptions of the correct answers. The first two sections are ideal for students just beginning their clerkship, as they set the groundwork for the basis of psychiatry. A fourth edition will be necessary by 2012 after the release of DSM-V.