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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jessica Brand Kraker, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This is a welcome addition to the pocket guides for teaching medical students and interns the basics of the neurologic exam. The book outlines a practical approach to examining the neurologic patient and formulating a differential diagnosis, using both descriptions and illustrations.
Purpose: The purpose is to bridge the gap between neuroanatomy and neuroscience classes and neurology ward rotations, which is a difficult and important task. The book does indeed do a wonderful job of highlighting the basic approach to a neurologic patient which may escape students, or beginning interns, as they transition out of the classroom into the wards.
Audience: According to the author, this book is written for students and residents. This is a great resource for students and for beginning residents in specialties such as emergency medicine or family medicine.
Features: This book outlines the basic approach to examining and diagnosing the neurology patient in a clear and easy to manage format. The author uses humorous illustrations to convey his take home messages, and combines important figures such as motor pathways and dermatomal diagrams. The author also breaks down the various sections of the neuraxis into its different responsibilities in a handy chart that will help readers to arrange their exam findings in a cohesive, intelligent presentation.
Assessment: Any student entering a neurology ward rotation would benefit from carrying this book after reading it. The book stresses many points I find myself repeating to students on the rotations about how to examine and present patients. It is slim and easy to reference for the last minute queries before rounds start. It is more compact, and focuses more closely on the exam, than the many other pocket guides available. While it should not be used as the main text for learning neurology, it is a helpful guide that can be used daily.