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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Thomas J. Hansen, MD (Advocate Health Care)
Description: This overview of topics pertinent to family physicians is organized according to the stages of life, beginning with childhood and ending with old age.
Purpose: The purpose, as stated by the author, is to offer a "single-source reference for house staff and practicing family physicians who provide comprehensive and continuous care of individuals of both sexes throughout the lifespan." In the age of evidence-based medicine, having a book like this, which incorporates evidence-based recommendations, is vital for family physicians to offer the most comprehensive and up-to-date care possible.
Audience: Family physicians in practice and residents are the intended audience. The editors have chosen a credible group of authors, from within the specialty of family medicine as well as from other specialties.
Features: Of the seven sections, four deal with the general age groups seen by family physicians: infants and children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. While most of the chapters are well written and provide the expected information, some of the chapters are lacking. For instance, the one on skin diseases in infants and children lacks a color atlas which would have been helpful for a house staff physician. The section on adolescence is limited to only five chapters: physical activity, eating disorders, sexuality, menstrual disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases. A common chapter, on common infections in children, is well written but would be more accessible if broken apart for quick reference. Missing are chapters on pathologies common in adolescents, such as cystic fibrosis, dehydration, and asthma. The adult and geriatric chapters are excellent and helpful. The remaining three sections cover therapeutics, genetics and prevention, psychosocial disorders, and physician-patient issues. Pharmacogenomics is addressed in the therapeutics, genetics and prevention, presenting the future of pharmacologic research in a meaningful way for busy clinicians. Oral health, travel medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine are examples of chapters covered in these final three sections.
Assessment: This is an excellent resource for family physicians, family medicine residents, and midlevel providers caring for patients.