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From The CriticsReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This pocket-sized book is a comprehensive, all in one text on clinical diseases and relevant laboratory testing. This second edition is a necessary update given the advances in laboratory testing (i.e., cytogenetics, nucleic acid amplification, etc.) that emerged as clinically useful tests since the first edition.
Purpose: The purpose is to present a complete and concise guide to an efficient and complete diagnosis of disease. This is a worthy objective, and the authors have succeeded admirably.
Audience: This book would appeal to virtually anyone early in his/her medical career — medical students, interns, residents, and junior attendings. It would also appeal to anyone in the allied health sciences whose daily work involves the various tests discussed, or anyone in the field of healthcare who is interested in why certain tests are done for which diseases.
Features: This relatively small book is surprisingly complete in its factual information. Furthermore, it includes great pictures (radiographs, photomicrographs, nuclear medicine studies, endoscopic views, ultrasounds, etc.). About the first 100 pages is disease-oriented; readers are guided to a differential diagnosis based on the patient's clinical symptoms. The remaining 700 pages describe the various tests available to diagnose disease, according to subspecialty categories (i.e., cardiology, endocrinology, etc.). I found this book to be very useful firsthand when asked to consult on which laboratory test(s) were needed to evaluate a patient with hypernatremia. Sure enough, I turned to the endocrinology section, found the appropriate text, and read off the correct tests to order; all the while sounding like a competent clinical pathologist. This experience highlights the easy accessibility of information and overall clinical usefulness of this book.
Assessment: I really liked this book. It's comparable to, if not better than, many of the other pocket guides for clinical medicine. Now I'll just have to decide which books to take with me on rounds, given that I only have two accommodating pockets in my lab coat.