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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Written in an outline format, this book contains a review of much of the information vital for passing part II of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) examination.
Purpose: For this update, the author notes that, due to the dynamic nature of the field, he was required to "reduce, but not eliminate, clinical information related to older 'tried and true' medications."
Audience: Although a useful manual for those interested in a synopsis of diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders (as classified by the DSM-IV), this guide is designed specifically for individuals who are preparing for part II of the ABPN examination.
Features: In addition to the chapters based on the diagnostic categories found in the DSM-IV, this study guide also contains a chapter dedicated to miscellaneous topics (such as clinical studies of particular importance and metabolic syndrome, among many others), as well as tables and figures. Chapters are penned in an outline style, with brief explanations to highlight important concepts.
Assessment: I reviewed an earlier edition of this guide (second edition in 2005) and found it to be quite useful and comprehensive, so I was eager to read this updated fourth edition. From a content standpoint, the new edition does not disappoint. The author succinctly addresses most of the relevant issues in the diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of virtually every DSM-IV condition with data from recent literature. Though the flow is somewhat choppy, the intent of this guide is to review vital information, not present new concepts. Overall, this is a fine review book which should prove useful for its intended audience. However, its usefulness may be time-limited, as the ABPN has begun offering a new examination for recent resident graduates, and plans to continue the old part II format until around 2013, when it will be phased out altogether.