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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Stan Zipser, MD, JD (University of Colorado Health Sciences Center)
Description: This book in the Pre Test series is a review of chest radiographs with accompanying short clinical scenarios and multiple choice questions to be used in preparation for USMLE exams.
Purpose: The book meets its objective of aiding in preparation for USMLE exams, something that every medical student must endure.
Audience: It is intended for medical students and residents, and it is appropriate for this audience. It is not suitable as a text or review for a radiology resident. The authors are authorities in pulmonary medicine and critical care medicine, and their focus on clinical scenarios reflects their background.
Features: Chest X-rays and their accompanying clinical scenarios are presented. Chapters are broken down into major radiographic patterns, such as solitary pulmonary nodule, diffuse interstitial disease, and pleural disease. The strength of this book lies in the case-based presentations with multiple choice questions as one sees on USMLE exams. Additionally, correlating clinical and laboratory data with chest X-ray findings aids the reader in learning and remembering the pathology. The glossary of terms, abbreviations, and quick reference guide are useful for the test taker as well as the medicine resident on the wards. The descriptions of the chest X-rays are good, but should be placed underneath the images instead of at the end of each chapter. Some of the images are uninterpretable due to the limitations of reproducing chest X-rays in a book. Sometimes lateral views of the chest are omitted when they are needed, for example, in presenting a case of a cavitating pneumonia in the superior segment of the right lower lobe. The book in no way gives a complete, or nearly complete, description of X-ray findings for each of the pathologic entities. Rather, the descriptions provide highlights of these entities in little detail, which is appropriate for the medical student or medicine resident.
Assessment: This is an excellent book for the medical student, medicine resident, and test taker to learn about commonly encountered entities in pulmonary pathology, as well as examples of their chest X-ray manifestations.