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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Thomas J. Podsadecki, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is a systematic and practical review of medical history taking and physical examination for the practicing physician. The book includes a discussion on the appropriate use of laboratory testing based on the clinical setting.
Purpose: The purpose is to review the techniques of obtaining a complete history and physical examination. The editors recognize an increasing reliance on these "low technology" methods of data collection in the current environment of cost containment and practice guidelines. Emphasis is placed on interpreting the significance of physical findings and using this information to guide further evaluation. The goals of systematically reviewing the techniques of interviewing and examination are achieved.
Audience: The book is specifically geared toward practicing physicians, although the material is presented at a level appropriate for medical students, nurses, and other allied health professionals. Contributors to the book include experienced clinicians representing a broad range of subspecialties, both medical and surgical.
Features: The book includes numerous pertinent drawings, charts, tables, and photographs. Models are used to illustrate appropriate examination techniques. Each chapter includes timely references and, frequently, a list of suggested readings. The table of contents and index are especially thorough and very helpful.
Assessment: This is an extremely useful reference. Although geared toward practitioners, enough detail is included to make it appropriate for students at all levels. Rather than simply presenting the techniques of history taking and examination, the authors emphasize the importance of these tools to focus efforts in patient care. The book is an excellent addition to an individual or medical library collection.