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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Cornelius Van Niel, MD (University of Washington School of Medicine)
Description: This is a thorough, accurate, portable, and for the most part user-friendly review of important pediatric problems and diagnoses. Topics in well-child care and useful appendixes are included.
Purpose: The editors promise to provide "easy access to concise yet comprehensive coverage of common pediatric problems, the sharing of knowledge, and the provision of better care to children." The reader will find it relatively easy to locate and learn key concepts regarding a particular clinical topic or situation.
Audience: The target audience appears to include medical students and residents. This handbook is written by experienced and well-informed editors and contributors who provide suggested reading lists; they do not give direct references for specific data, however.
Features: Information is organized by sign, symptom, or general clinical entity, and a fairly complete set of diseases fits into this chapter scheme. The chapters do vary somewhat in quality, especially readability. The tables are usually helpful and applicable, but sometimes the decision-tree algorithms seem forced. The "hint" insertions are valuable and break up long sections of text effectively.
Assessment: A breadth of readily available subjects are covered in a portable handbook form that is mostly pleasing to the eye. It is easy to review diseases quickly and thoroughly in this book, even with the unusual alphabetical organization by problem. Some portions will likely prove too prose-like for the intended audience. Despite the lack of emphasis on management issues, students and residents can learn a lot about pediatric problems and diagnoses from this handbook.