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From The CriticsReviewer: Janet Kim, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is a reference manual initially developed to ease the transition of medical students to the clinical years by providing essential information about patient care in a user-friendly format.
Purpose: The book satisfies this much-needed and useful purpose, including a large amount of important information in a consolidated manner. It is a new edition, the last dating from 1993.
Audience: It is geared toward medical students but could be used as a review and teaching tool for house officers and practitioners caring for hospitalized patients. The sources include physicians and a few pharmacists from 18 various medical centers in multiple specialties.
Features: Each chapter is preceded by a list of its contents. Examples of its content include the structure of a medical team, differential diagnosis, laboratory and diagnostic tests, nutrition, tumor staging, suturing techniques, procedures, basic electrocardiogram reading, and critical care. In addition to paragraph form, it uses many lists and tables, as well as a fair amount of graphs, flow diagrams, and illustrations, making it easy to follow. It is packaged is a soft-cover spiral manual that fits well into a white coat pocket.
Assessment: Overall, this book is an excellent introductory reference to clinical medicine that successfully covers a vast amount of important material in a digestible manner. It is particularly strong at explaining laboratory and diagnostic tests, procedures, descriptions of medical terminology, and the basics of critical care medicine, and it provides a valuable glossary of eponyms of physical signs and useful examples of note-writing. As a handbook, it lacks much detail but is a superb and thorough reference manual of patient care that I would recommend to all medical students as well as many house officers.