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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Easton, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: In this newest addition to the Essential Psychopharmacology series, Dr. Stahl reviews numerous complicated cases from his practice in an attempt to show how to take the information from his other evidence-based books and extend that to the clinical care of complicated patients.
Purpose: The intent is to help experienced clinicians bridge the gap between the science of psychopharmacology (mechanisms of action and evidence-based data) and the art of psychopharmacology (how to extend research to the care of complicated patients). This case-based approach combines evidence-based prescribing derived from the research literature with prescribing-based evidence derived from empiric experience.
Audience: The book is designed for more experienced clinicians who have a sound foundation in evidence-based psychopharmacology. It appears to be the next step for those already knowledgeable in the mechanism of action of psychotropic drugs and the data on how to prescribe them.
Features: Dr. Stahl looks at 40 complicated cases covering a wide range of patients from his clinical practice. The cases are presented in the familiar, unique style of the Essential Psychopharmacology series so readers can follow the course of treatment over time. The book incorporates some unique factors such as the clinician's thoughts at various points of treatment, questions one should be asking to develop a treatment plan. Each case has pre- and post-teaching questions, a short "psychopharm tutorial" relevant to each case, clinical tips and pearls, take-home points, and an evaluation in hindsight of how each case could have been handled differently.
Assessment: This book uses a wide range of teaching techniques, as do the others in this series, to help educate. The case studies accurately reflect the complicated nature of the patients that we encounter in our practices. Treating many of the patients goes beyond the evidence-based data available and requires clinicians to draw upon their own and others' prescribing-based empiric evidence. This novel book helps us look inside the mind of a seasoned psychopharmacologist and how he bridges the gap between research and clinical practice.