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From The CriticsReviewer: Isaac Kleinman, MD (Baylor College of Medicine)
Description: This is the fourth edition of a handbook designed to provide a listing of the main items in the history, physical findings, and differential diagnoses of common adult and pediatric symptoms.
Purpose: The book includes some health maintenance outlines, an elementary glossary of medical terms, and a table of frequently used drugs. But it mainly serves as an outline for proper description of symptoms and the historical and physical examinations data to be sought for each of the listed symptoms.
Audience: It is aimed at health care providers, in training-physicians, nurses, physician's assistants, and nurse practitioners.
Features: The book consists of outlines and tables with very few illustrations. All the symptom listings are organized in the same way: descriptors (i.e., acute vs. chronic, duration, type of onset, etc.), associated symptoms, family history, environmental history (exposure to toxins, infectious agents), physical examination (limited to those areas pertinent to the symptom under discussion), and diagnostic considerations. Therapy is not mentioned except for the list of drugs and their uses.
Assessment: This book would be useful for a broader audience if it were written on a less elementary level and a bit more rigorously. Even a brief perusal reveals a number of errors of omission, usually in the associated symptoms section, e.g., ischemic bowel disease is omitted from the list of common causes of recurrent abdominal pain, lead level is not mentioned in the the well-baby check-up section, and cocaine abuse is not mentioned in the section on chest pain and dysrhythmia.